MICRO-BLOGGING SITE Twitter will now display messages to warn you if blocked tweets were "withheld" to comply with local laws or court orders.
The warning messages are hoped to give Twitter users information as soon as they try to access blocked tweets or accounts, the social media giant said in a blog post.
The new interstitials will build on Twitter's Country Withheld Content (CWC) tool, which was launched in 2012 to transparently handle global legal requests to remove content from the site, alongside the firm's first ever Twitter Transparency Report.
The primary goal of CWC was to avoid silent removals and maximise transparency of the content that we are compelled to remove to comply with local laws, court orders, and other legal demands.
"As our use of CWC has evolved over time, we are updating our in-product messaging when we withhold content to clarify why content was withheld and where," said the firm's Global Legal Policy Director, Jeremy Kessel.
Users will therefore now see one of two interstitials displayed on withheld content. One is Withheld Tweets, which means Twitter was compelled to withhold the original Tweet in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.
"[Seeing this message] means Twitter withheld content based on local law(s) in response to a report filed through specific support intake channels," Kessel explained.
The other interstitial you could now see is related to Withheld accounts, and means Twitter was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g., @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.
"If you see [an Account withheld] message, it means Twitter withheld the entire account based on local law(s) in response to a report filed through specific support intake channels," Kessel said.
Twitter has updated the CWC Help Center article as well as its Legal Request FAQ to reflect these changes, it said.
"This update is part of our larger efforts to increase transparency across Twitter, particularly around decisions that impact our users," added Kessel. "We are also working on improving our use of in-app notifications to alert affected users when we have received legal requests about their account."
Twitter will apparently continue to enhance transparency across the service and in its biannual reports from now on. µ
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