In a series of messages Tuesday evening, Twitter said it has reviewed its “Twitter Safety” policies regarding messages that may be in violation of its content rules.
The operator of the popular microblogging platform said it will now focus on “context, not fact-checking” when deciding whether to rule a tweet to be in violation of its policies.
The thread of messages also included a list of company principles posted by CEO Jack Dorsey.
“We are NOT attempting to address all misinformation,” Twitter says in one of the messages, posted under its Twitter Safety banner. “Instead, we prioritize based on the highest potential for harm, focusing on manipulated media, civic integrity, and COVID-19. Likelihood, severity and type of potential harm – along with reach and scale – factor into this.”
In his message last Thursday, Trump had included the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” which critics said was an allusion to the U.S. era of racial segregation and suppression.
After his message was flagged, Trump hit back at Twitter the next day, posting the same message via the official White House account in addition to Trump’s personal account.
In another of its messages Tuesday, Twitter wrote: “We also believe it’s important people can read and speak about what world leaders say, even if they violate our rules.” It then refers readers to a “public interest notice,” posted in October, that further outlines its policies.
Last week, President Trump issued an executive order intended to curb some of the legal protections currently shielding social media companies like Twitter from lawsuits.
“Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform,” White House official Dan Scavino wrote last Friday. Twitter is full of s— – more and more people are beginning to get it.”
Meanwhile on Tuesday, a tech-focused civil liberties group filed a lawsuit, seeking to block Trump’s executive order to regulate social media.
In its lawsuit, the Center for Democracy and Technology claims Trump’s executive order is an act of revenge and violates the First Amendment rights of both tech companies and the general public, NPR reported.
Trump’s order, signed last week, could allow more lawsuits against internet companies like Twitter and Facebook for what their users post, tweet and stream.