Twitter to label abusive posts from government leaders amid Trump feud

Twitter said Thursday that it will begin to flag tweets from government officials that would otherwise be subject to deletion for violations of its user guidelines.

“There are certain cases where it may be in the public’s interest to have access to certain Tweets, even if they would otherwise be in violation of our rules,” the company said in a blog post. “On the rare occasions when this happens, we'll place a notice – a screen you have to click or tap through before you see the Tweet – to provide additional context and clarity.”

Twitter said the labels will only be applied to tweets from users who match certain criteria. The users must either be or represent a government official, be a candidate for public office, have at least 100,000 followers and have Twitter’s blue “verified” badge.

The label will note that the user’s tweet are in violation of Twitter’s rules against abusive posts, but are being left online because they are of public interest. Flagged tweets will appear less often in Twitter feeds.

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The new feature comes amid a lengthy battle between Twitter and President Trump, who has repeatedly accused the social media platform of political bias. While Twitter did not mention Trump by name in announcing the new policy, the president’s tweets have frequently drawn scrutiny for apparent violations of the company’s rules about posting.


In Sept. 2017, when Trump threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a Twitter post, the company said it left the tweet online in part because of its “newsworthiness.”

Trump has accused Twitter of “shadowbanning,” or effectively blocking posts, from prominent conservative voices while promoting progressive viewpoints. Twitter denies that it shadowbans users.