Twitter seems to suffer from the misapprehension that the criticism its been taking over censorship has to do with the way they’ve been censoring, so they’ve come up with a scheme they think might please their critics.
Instead of removing posts, Twitter will put a notice on the offending post [of political candidates and/or government officials] that reads, “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.” Users won’t be able to see the tweet until they click past the warning.
Twitter said it will also use an algorithm to downgrade the tweet so it’s less likely to appear in users’ feeds.
The new rules apply to verified government officials and political candidates with more than 100,000 followers.
“By nature of their positions these leaders have outsize influence and sometimes say things that could be considered controversial or invite debate and discussion. A critical function of our service is providing a place where people can openly and publicly respond to their leaders and hold them accountable.”
What Twitter fails to realize is that the criticism that they’re censoring users — conservatives mostly — doesn’t stem from the manner in which the censorship occurs. It’s directly related to the fact that Twitter has its own political bias and has been censoring those who don’t share that bias.
With that in mind, these milder censorship tactics will do little more than change the degree of the censorship but doesn’t address the real problem which is that Twitter operates a massive communications platform and decides as a corporate entity what its users should be allowed to see.
As always, because Twitter is a private company, they’re not required to allow all viewpoints. And they should be aware of real threats of violence that might be floating across their platform and work to tamp those down. But if they truly want to address the criticism, they need to stop actively policing the thoughts and opinions of users simply because they’re not the same thoughts and opinions of Twitter.