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Twitter to mark politicians' offensive tweets

June 27, 2019

Twitter users might find it more cumbersome to find and read tweets by politicians such as US President Donald Trump. The president had accused the company of bias against him.

Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Skolimowska

Twitter on Thursday started marking tweets from prominent politicians that break its rules with a warning message and making them less visible. The change came a day after US President Donald Trump complained that the platform was restricting his visibility.

In a blog post, the site said users will have to click through a message that explains why the tweet violated its rules before they can see the full post.

"We'll now clearly label any tweets which violate our terms of service but decide to keep up due to public interest," Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said.

The move only affects new tweets from verified political candidates and government officials who have more than 100,000 followers.

Read more: #ToxicTwitter: Do we need a new culture of debate?

Twitter also said it had changed the way the site displays posts to ensure that marked tweets are seen by fewer users.

Previously, the US-based tech giant had allowed such tweets to remain online without any warning, arguing that the posts "were in the public's interest."

The platform's rules include bans on tweets that incite violence or harassment or include racist, sexist or other types of discriminatory speech.

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Read more: The politics of deleting online hate speech

Trump factor

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump complained that Twitter was intentionally lowering the status of his tweets and was biased in favor of his political opponents.

"What they did to me on Twitter is incredible," he said. "I have millions and millions of followers, but I will tell you they make it very hard for people to join me on Twitter, and they make it very hard for me to get out the message."

Trump has more than 61 million followers on Twitter.

Many users have in the past commented that the president's own blustering tweets violate Twitter's rules and have requested he be banned from using the platform.

amp/sms (AFP, AP)

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