Twitter may tag rule-breaking Trump tweets

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US President Donald Trump's tweets, which sometimes have been seen as abusive, could get special labels on Twitter if they violate the platform's rules under changes being mulled by the online service AFP/File
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AFP

San Francisco – Twitter said Thursday it could start tagging tweets from newsworthy figures such as US President Donald Trump that break its rules, while stopping short of deleting them.

The one-to-many messaging platform used extensively by Trump to fire off comments, some of them inflammatory, said it is exploring ways to add context to tweets considered to be of legitimate public interest but which violate its terms of service.

“Twitter is exploring ways to provide more context around tweets that violate our rules, but are newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest,” the company said in an emailed statement.

A day earlier, Twitter’s trust and safety chief Vijaya Gadde made similar remarks asked about abusive tweets, which may be from a public figure such as Trump.

Gadde said during an on-stage interview at a Washington Post technology forum in San Francisco that Twitter was looking at ways to “put some context around it so people are aware that that content is actually a violation of our rules and it is serving a particular purpose in remaining on the platform.”

Tweets that go too far, such as threatening someone with violence, would be removed no matter who posts them, according to Gadde.

Twitter and other online platforms have faced pressure to remove abusive and hateful content, while at the same time avoiding criticism of acting due to political bias.

Trump earlier this month stepped up claims of political bias by Big Tech firms in a fresh assault on Silicon Valley after one of his key congressional allies sued Twitter claiming it discriminates against conservatives.

Twitter and other Silicon Valley firms have vigorously denied claims of political bias built into their platforms.

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