Twitter doesn’t realize its own policies.
That’s the only real conclusion to draw from the industry¡¯s bizarre change of course today in relation to Donald Trump’s Twitter account. 1 day after saying that it didn’t eliminate Trump’s retweets of far-right anti-Muslim propaganda because of a “legitimate public attention, ” CEO Jack Dorsey stated that reasoning was a mistake.
But not because those tweets may actually violate Twitter’s policies. No, as it happens the company just cited the wrong loophole in its policies.
To summarize: Earlier this week, on Wednesday Trump’s ever popular Twitter account started a fresh controversy when the president retweeted a series of anti-Muslim propaganda videos.
When pushed for comment on the reason why the company wouldn’t remove the tweets, which usually ostensibly violate the company’s policies towards hate speech and promoting assault, a Twitter spokesperson on Thurs directed CNN to a portion of the policy that states the following:
To help ensure people have a chance to see every side of an problem, there may be the rare occasion whenever we allow controversial content or actions which may otherwise violate our Guidelines to remain on our service because all of us believe there is a legitimate public desire for its availability.
Today, even though, Twitter admitted it got it incorrect, saying its previous explanations experienced “caused some confusion. ” The actual reason it didn’t take action within the videos has nothing to do with “public interest, inch but the company’s rather vague media guidelines regulating graphic content. Â
Under that policy, “some forms of graphic assault or adult content may be allowed in Tweets when they are noticeable as sensitive media. “Â
To clarify: these videos are not becoming kept up because they are newsworthy or even for public interest. Rather, these types of videos are permitted on Tweets based on our current media plan. https://t.co/RqEQy3skgc
â? Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) December 1, 2017
The company did not offer any further explanation about how this prioritizes policies that would appear to discord with each other or how it decides what type of “sensitive media” is permitted on its platform. In a twitter update, Dorsey said the company was “still looking critically at all our content material policies. “
We wrongly pointed to the wrong reason all of us didnât take action on the videos through earlier this week. Weâre still searching critically at all of our current insurance policies, and appreciate all the feedback. Find our safety calendar for our programs and ship dates. https://t.co/yGytH3eskM
â? jack (@jack) December 1, 2017
A Twitter spokesperson declined to sophisticated.
Needless to say, though, this particular confusing explanation and then reversal did not go over well with many Twitter customers, who have already been sharply criticial from the company’s handling of Trump’s Tweets account.
Jack do you consider the reason is because you desperately need Trump to keep using Twitter so this individual gets to do whatever he desires?
â? Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) December 1, 2017
Why aren’t you just clearly state that anything messaged by heads of state is usually newsworthy and immune from your normal media policy?
â? Blake Chastain (@brchastain) December 1, 2017
Would you be so glibly non-committal if those videos had been promoting violence towards Twitter workers?
â? lil b the particular barssgod (@jacobbarssbailey) December 1, 2017
Thousands of people have already told you this particular incites violence towards a group. How is your day listening if you’re not reacting?
â? Hallie Savannah (@halliesavannah) December 1, 2017