Then-businessman Donald Trump appeared on David Letterman’s late night show many times over a period of years. In one interview, in which he called Rosie O’Donnell a degenerate, he discussed his Twitter account. The future president noted his following, saying it was like running The New York Times, but without the losses. Since the 2016 election, Trump has amassed almost as many followers as those who voted for him nearly four years ago. Over 60 million people follow the president. His circulation is tremendous. He views the medium as one where he can bypass the riff-raff of politicos who could water down his message. It’s a tool where he can reach the people directly. Now, Twitter is looking to rein that in with these new rules. Let’s call them Trump rules, in which they will label and limit the exposure of certain tweets from verified accounts of politicians with over 100,000 followers who violate the terms of service. A special team will be assembled to police this new policy. While this could apply to scores of politicians, we all know who the number one targetof this new policy will be (via WaPo):
Twitter has long said it is unlikely to take down politicians’ most vitriolic tweets — including President Trump’s — but it now plans to label them if they break its rules.
The new label applies to all verified political candidates and government officials with more than 100,000 followers, Twitter said Thursday. Before users can view the language in newly flagged tweets, they will need to click on a screen that says, “The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.”
The company also said it will set up a special team tasked with enforcing the policy, and the notification label would appear only on rare occasions.
Twitter said it would deprioritize the labeled tweets in the company’s algorithms and search bar so that they would circulate to fewer people. The policy will go into effect immediately and will not apply to other influencers and leaders. It’s not retroactive.
“In the past, we’ve allowed certain Tweets that violated our rules to remain on Twitter because they were in the public’s interest, but it wasn’t clear when and how we made those determinations,” the company said in a blog post. “To fix that, we’re introducing a new notice that will provide additional clarity in these situations, and sharing more on when and why we’ll use it.”
#BREAKING Twitter said it would label and deprioritize tweets from politicians that break its rules -- in a move that could affect the prodigious output of US President Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/M0Wyrd7d7Q— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 27, 2019
We’ll see how this plays out, though we know Big Tech is overwhelmingly liberal and their terms of service are not equally applied. Conservatives on Twitter get banned for telling liberal journalists to “learn to code,” while Louis Farrakhan gets no blowback or punishment for calling Jewish people termites on his threads.
Also, Trump's tweets during last night's Democratic debate were fantastic:
.@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
BORING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019