- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2019

Twitter is tackling how to let leaders like President Trump break the platform’s rules without repercussion, a report said Thursday.

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy, and trust and safety, said that the social network is considering annotating “newsworthy” tweets otherwise prohibited by the company’s rules against abuse and harassment, The Washington Post reported.

“One of the things we’re working really closely on with our product and engineering folks is, ‘How can we label that?’ ” Ms. Gadde said at an event Wednesday, the newspaper reported. “How can we 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.”

Twitter prohibits tweets considered hateful and abusive, including targeted attempts “to harass, intimidate or silence,” and violators risk consequences ranging from having their posting privileges momentarily suspended to being permanently banned.

Among platform’s most newsworthy users, Mr. Trump has used his widely followed Twitter account to single out critics in a regular basis, taking aim at targets running the gamut from cable news pundits and lawmakers to fellow presidents and foreign dictators. Twitter has failed to take action against Mr. Trump, however, and the company has previously said it makes exceptions for tweets based on “newsworthiness” and public interest.

Speaking at an event hosted by The Post in San Francisco, Ms. Gadde said Twitter’s current policy of not touching newsworthy but otherwise prohibited tweets gives users the wrong idea of what’s permitted, the newspaper reported.

“[W]hen we leave that content on the platform, there’s no context around that, and it just lives on Twitter, and people can see it and they just assume that is the type of content or behavior that’s allowed by our rules,” she said, according to the report.

Mr. Trump boasted 59.4 million followers on his official Twitter account Thursday afternoon. His most recent tweet was a video clip in which the president claimed that Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, committed a “crime” and “should be forced out of office” for investigating possible connections between Russia and Mr. Trump.

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