Twitter is reportedly considering adding special labels to President Trump’s tweets if it decides they “violate” the site’s rules.
CNN reports that Twitter is considering adding labels to the President’s tweets that it judges to violate the site’s rules, indicating that the tweets were going to remain on the platform because they are considered to be in the public interest. During an interview with the Washington Post, Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde, revealed the company’s plan.
Twitter is reportedly attempting to maintain the website’s standards while giving context to tweets from politicians and public figures which may violate the websites rules but add to public debate. Gadde was asked whether Twitter’s current approach to the president’s tweets means that he receives total immunity to say what he wishes on the platform. Gadde responded by saying that the platform wants to find a way to acknowledge that some tweets break the sites community standards but keep them on the platform if they are newsworthy.
“One of the things we’re working really closely on with our product and engineering folks is, ‘How can we label that?'” Gadde said, not specifically referring to President Trump. “How can we put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform.”
Gadde believes that this approach would hold political leaders accountable for their tweets and note the site’s issues with the posts while still allowing the public to see them. The website does have a limit on speech that is allowed on the platform even from politicians and public figures, however. Some tweets would be considered a bannable offense according to Gadde: “An example would be a direct violent threat against an individual that we wouldn’t leave on the platform because of the danger it poses to that individual,” she said.
This isn’t always the case on Twitter. Jack Dorsey’s company allowed verified accounts to make calls for violence against conservative high school students during the Covington hate hoax, for example.
Gadde noted that Twitter is working on limiting the visibility of “dehumanizing” tweets on the platform, adding warnings before tweets that users have to click in order to read the tweet. Gadde stated that this would “force people to acknowledge what this is and make the choice of whether to see it or not versus it just being on the platform with full visibility.”