HOW FAR does Donald Trump have to go before Twitter does something?
If it's ever felt like there's no plan in place, don't worry, Twitter is here to show you it's in full control.
Ever since bit-part actor Donald Trump, best known for his appearance as a backing singer on a version of Hotline Bling performed on US TV, started dabbling in grass-roots politics, Twitter has been struggling to keep him sweet, but without upsetting the entire rest of Twitter.
So what does it do if a world leader (wiggy or otherwise) pushes their luck too far? We've already seen that it's very difficult to ban them. Twitter explains: "Our mission is to provide a forum that enables people to be informed and to engage their leaders directly. We also have a responsibility to the people who use Twitter to better explain why we make the decisions we make."
It goes on to explain that tweets are analysed for language, and not for the political intent - in other words, a machine does it. But if someone goes too far, there's a plan: "Presently, direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy sabre-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules. "
Interesting use of the word "presently".
"We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely. "
Assuming it is considered in the public interest, then Twitter will place it behind a notice, similar to that you get when someone has replied with a swear, contextualising it.
The exceptions, where there'll be an automatic takedown, include threatening violence, posting private data or intimate photos or videos, child exploitation or promotion of self-harm.
It's always a fine line between standards of decency and the First Amendment, and one that Twitter seems determined to balance. µ
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