‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Elon Musk’s Twitter Debuts Shadowbanning Policy

BERLIN, GERMANY DECEMBER 01: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpe
Hannibal Hanschke/Getty Images, BNN Edit

Twitter has announced plans to label and limit the visibility of tweets it considers “hate speech.” Self proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk’s company claims that the shadowbanning policy supports a “freedom of speech vs. freedom of reach approach.”

The Verge reports that on Monday, Twitter announced that it would soon start labeling tweets and reducing their visibility due to possible violations of the platform’s hateful conduct policy. The reduction of tweet visibility has often been referred to as “shadowbanning,” and something Twitter claimed wasn’t happening on the platform prior to Musk’s takeover, although the algorithm release proved otherwise.

Elon Musk satanic costume

Elon Musk’s Halloween costume (Taylor Hill /Getty)

The new labels, which will read “Visibility limited: this Tweet may violate Twitter’s rules against Hateful Conduct,” allegedly aim to increase transparency and more closely match the company’s enforcement stance with its alleged dedication to free speech.

Twitter Safety explained in a blog post that the service will make such labeled tweets harder to find and “not place ads adjacent to” them. Although no specific date has been given for the initial rollout targeting violations of the hateful conduct policy, the company intends to extend the use of the “visibility limited” label to other possible policy violations in the upcoming months.

Twitter’s hateful conduct policy is designed to “prohibit behavior that targets individuals or groups with abuse based on their perceived membership in a protected category.” A tweet from the official Twitter Safety account stated: “Restricting the reach of Tweets helps reduce binary ‘leave up versus take down’ content moderation decisions and supports our freedom of speech vs. freedom of reach approach.”

Twitter acknowledged the potential for mistakes and said, “We may get it wrong occasionally.” Users whose tweets receive the label will have the chance to provide feedback if they think the visibility of their tweet was unfairly restricted. The business is also constructing a procedure for affected users to appeal.

Users were reassured by Musk’s company, which stated that it would “continue to remove illegal content and suspend bad actors” from the social media platform. The platform recently implemented a “zero tolerance” policy on violent speech, which forbids threats, wishes of harm, incitement of violence, and glorification of violence. The introduction of these labels comes almost two months after that policy was implemented.

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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