Social Media

Twitter to review approach to world leaders on the platform

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 19, 2021

Plans public survey to gain user input

Twitter is calling for public feedback to help shape its policies related to world leaders on the platform.

The social media major will circulate a public survey to help gain user input for the development of its policy framework.

“Starting on March 19, we’ll be calling for responses to a public survey that will help inform the development of our policy framework,” it said in a blog post.

The survey will close on Monday, April 12, at 5 p.m. PT.

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The questionnaire will be available in the coming days in 14 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Urdu.

“This is to ensure a global perspective is reflected in the feedback and mirrors the approach we’ve taken with previous public surveys,” it said.

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To consult experts

The microblogging platform had first explained its principles and approach to world leaders on the platform in 2019.

“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. That’s why we’re reviewing our approach to world leaders and seeking your input,” it said.

“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. And, should a world leader violate a rule, what type of enforcement action is appropriate,” it said.

Apart from the public survey, Twitter will also consult with human rights experts, civil society organisations, and academics worldwide in the forthcoming revisions to the policy framework.

Under the scanner

Social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook have been under the scanner for their policies related to politicians and government officials, particularly after the platforms indefinitely suspended the account of former US President Donald Trump post the January 6 US Capitol riots.

Twitter recently introduced new features and updates related to politicians and government officials on the platform. It recently announced that it is expanding its policy to label accounts of government officials and institutions to 16 more countries.

The microblogging platform expanded account labels to additional categories related to government officials and institutions in August 2020. The platform had said that it will start labelling the accounts of key government officials and those belonging to state-affiliated media entities.

Initially, the policy was implemented for accounts from countries represented in the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The social media major will add labels verified accounts of key government officials, including foreign ministers, institutional entities, ambassadors, official spokespeople, and key diplomatic leaders. It will also label the personal accounts of heads of state, it had said.

Published on March 19, 2021

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