Twitter wants your opinion on how it should handle world leaders


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Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter is putting out a call for public input as to how it should handle world leaders on the platform — particularly ones who violate the site’s rules.

“Politicians and government officials are constantly evolving how they use our service, and we want our policies to remain relevant to the ever-changing nature of political discourse on Twitter and protect the health of the public conversation,” reads a new blog post from Twitter posted Thursday. “That’s why we’re reviewing our approach to world leaders and seeking your input.”

To that end, the platform will release a survey on March 19, with a goal of gathering public input on new policies governing the accounts of public officials. The survey will be open to all respondents through April 12, and will run in 14 languages to help capture a global perspective on the matter.

“Generally, we want to hear from the public on whether or not they believe world leaders should be subject to the same rules as others on Twitter,” the blog explains. “And, should a world leader violate a rule, what type of enforcement action is appropriate.”

For years, Twitter has maintained a stance that blocking or removing the tweets of world leaders would hide information that’s meant for public debate, even in cases where said tweets violate site rules. That policy was continually put to the test by former president Donald Trump, who was ultimately banned from the platform after the Capitol Hill riot in January, when Twitter determined that his tweets carried a risk of inciting additional violence.

Now, the platform is looking to get ahead of issues like those by setting new standards.

“Ultimately, our aim is to have a policy that appropriately balances fundamental human rights and considers the global context in which we operate,” Twitter says. The company adds that it’s in the process of consulting with human rights experts, civil society organizations and the academic community as it shapes new policy for the platform.



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