Twitter is implementing more warning labels and censorship, the company announced Thursday. The idea is to suppress content and apply red flags to various tweets in times of crisis.
Which content will Twitter target? According to the official company release, a group of outside “experts” will flag the posts that they deem, wait for it, dangerous misinformation.
“During moments of crisis, establishing whether something is true or false can be exceptionally challenging,” Yoel Roth, head of safety at Twitter and site integrity, explained in a blog post.
“To reduce potential harm, as soon as we have evidence that a claim may be misleading, we won’t amplify or recommend content that is covered by this policy across Twitter – including in the Home timeline, Search, and Explore. In addition, we will prioritize adding warning notices to highly visible Tweets and Tweets from high profile accounts, such as state-affiliated media accounts, verified, official government accounts.”
Helpfully, Twitter provided the following examples of content that will receive warning labels, all of which are subjective:
- False coverage or event reporting, or information that mischaracterizes conditions on the ground as a conflict evolves;
- False allegations regarding use of force, incursions on territorial sovereignty, or around the use of weapons;
- Demonstrably false or misleading allegations of war crimes or mass atrocities against specific populations;
- False information regarding international community response, sanctions, defensive actions, or humanitarian operations.
In other words, current Twitter management will task someone to separate the truth from the lies.
While that sounds shady, and it is, Twitter has been doing this itself for years. We explained how, step-by-step, in a column today. So this news only means Twitter will be more transparent about its rig-job.
And though the experts are sure to be sheep, they can’t be worse than the employees who have been enforcing these rules recently. Can they?
Anyway, this new ruling will prove meaningless if Elon Musk ultimately takes full ownership of the platform.