Last week, Twitter announced that it has made the decision to show if tweets have been deleted due to policy violations. This means that there will be more context when it comes to deleted tweets, showing, not only, why the tweet was deleted but also who deleted it.
This appears to come as another in a list of changes that Twitter is making in an effort to become more transparent with their users. The social media site recently faced criticism for the platform’s poor handling of election manipulation and the alleged biased behaviour around political tweets. During this, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted that Twitter had acted ‘unfairly’ due to reducing the visibility of around 600,000 accounts. An algorithmic error had led to Democratic and Republican accounts being harder to find and may have also had their Tweets down-ranked based on their following’s behaviour. However, Dorsey maintains that Twitter’s internal political bias has no impact on how they run the social media platform.
Another alteration being made to combat problematic tweets was the choice to censor it to users who have previously reported it. Should the tweet show up again on their timeline, Twitter will automatically grey-out the tweet showing only a ‘view’ button. Going back to the deleted tweets, prior to this change, tweets were removed with no explanation if they were guilty of policy violations, or even if the original tweeter just chose to remove it.
However, now if the tweet has been deleted by Twitter’s moderators due to policy violations, the tweet will show a message that stating so; it will stay in place for 14 days following the deletion. If another user searches for the tweet or clicks on an original link to a tweet, they will be 404’ed to the message stating that is has been removed due to a Twitter policy violation.
Each message will also display a link to the Twitter Rules and a webpage that details how they enforce their policy violation actions, including suspending users from posting, removing their accounts, stopping direct messaging between a user and violator and even banning tweets in specific countries.
You can find out more about the Twitter Rules here and how they are enforced here. Some common reasons for tweet deletion are the posting of graphic violence or adult content, abuse and hateful content, impersonation or fake accounts and posting spam or being a spam account.
These changes aren’t groundbreaking, but they are a solid step to providing a more genuine social media experience where people can identify those who share problematic content. The censoring of reported tweets and the policy violation changes are being rolled out on both the app and the website over the coming weeks.