Social media network Twitter has announced that it will be banning any media that the site deems to be “synthetic or manipulated” and is “likely to cause harm.” Users responded with mockery and speculation about the company’s motivation in potentially cracking down on memes ahead of the 2020 election.
In a recent blog post relating to media on its platform, Jack Dorsey’s platform announced that it would be banning any “synthetic or manipulated” media that is “likely to cause harm.” The site’s “Twitter Safety” account tweeted a video explaining what this would entail
Our new rule: You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide context. https://t.co/VN8uGyVJgq
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 4, 2020
In a blog post, the platform expanded on what counts as synthetic media writing:
Synthetic and manipulated media: You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context. Learn more.
While this is likely an attempt to crack down on misinformation, the wording of the rule means that any media that is edited could be viewed as synthetic and removed, this could include political memes or jokes posted to the platform.
Many users across the platform were not impressed with the new rules, some reactions can be seen below:
What the actual F does 'causing harm' mean? Is there any possible way in hell anything objective can be used as an example to judge against?
Or is just that any pro-Trump 'edited' media will result in banning?
Asking for a friend
— Dutchy du jour (@Dutchy_Henky) February 4, 2020
Oh yes. We'll all sleep better knowing our videos are safe. Phew. Now twitter should determine if the validity of content from cnn, cbs et al is true! That’s the real issue!
— Dana (@fleainyourear) February 4, 2020
Please use the new interface below to report suspect tweets: pic.twitter.com/Lj5o9D6WVo
— ✝️ Shane's Hat ✝️ (@oklumberman) February 4, 2020
How will this affect my penguins? pic.twitter.com/lukjY6WfaK
— Tom Dyke (@dyketacular) February 4, 2020
Read more about Twitter’s new rules on the company’s blog here.