The Washington Post doesn’t like President Trump, and it really doesn’t like his tweets. So it’s hardly surprising the Post’s editorial board would love a new Twitter policy that potentially could silence -- or at least quiet -- Trump’s account.
A June 29 editorial recalls last year when Trump tweeted about the firing of former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman and called her a “lowlife.”
“This content violates Twitter’s rules against abusive behavior,” lamented the board, saying the offending tweet “remains online because the platform has deemed it in the public interest.”
Happily, from the Post’s perspective, Twitter is changing its procedure. If it believes a tweet is “breaching its terms of service,” the user will now have to “click through a warning screen” to see the content. In addition, an “algorithm tweak will also ensure offending posts appear less often in search results and timelines.”
Competing arguments have made implementing the policy challenging. According to the Post’s board, “there’s an argument that private companies such as Twitter have the least business meddling with the public conversation,” and that getting involved could have “a dramatic impact on the democratic process.”
Another argument goes, “the rules governing everyone else’s ability to harass or spew hate should apply equally to those in power, whose harassing behavior is most likely to silence critics or cause other harm.”
Twitter is looking to implement a policy that balances between these two arguments. The Post’s board believes that this is a “sensible solution.”
The platform will also be implementing content moderation mechanisms that use fact checkers on, reduce posts from, and strip advertising revenue from national political figures who fall victim to this policy. The board says the idea of this “to focus not only on limiting speech but on limiting reach, too.” Sounds a lot like blatant censorship.
Conservatives are not pleased with this outcome. According to the Post’s board, conservatives “claim the policy is another example of Big Tech censorship,” and that Twitter’s executives should prepare themselves for “high-profile fights.”