On Tuesday, a major Palestinian-American journalist reporting on live performances of demonstrations near Jerusalem was suddenly and mysteriously silenced on Twitter – each tweet was replaced with the message “@ MariamBarghout’s account is temporarily disabled because it violates Twitter’s media policy.” That was a mistake, the company admitted quickly, and her Tweets were returned quickly.
But it turns out that one part of the case was No error. While Twitter may have acted incorrectly on this person’s account, there is actually one particular situation where Twitter reserves the right to delete your tweets. And – if you ask me – it’s super, very stupid.
ive been on twitter which feels like my whole life and ive never seen before what they do to this palestinian journalist’s account pic.twitter.com/z6bSmLCvNn
– Casey Johnston (@caseyjohnston) May 11, 2021
There, the “Require media or profile edits” policy reads as follows: “If an account profile or media content does not comply with our policies, we may temporarily disable it and require the infringer to modify the media or information in their profile to comply with it. our rules. We also explain what policy their profile or media content has violated. “
Or simply in English, if your profile picture, title picture, or other picture you submit doesn’t meet Twitter’s standards, Twitter won’t just censor the picture – it can censor your entire account until you fix it.
Why should Twitter notify people of a bad image with every tweet of the author instead of leaving the image out and perhaps giving an explanation? In recent years, we’ve seen many, many Twitter appearances by selecting that place warning labels nearby offensive and harmful content, tags that allow people to still easily view these tweets.
When I asked this question, the Twitter spokesman just said that the practice is designed to “better inform people about what Twitter is doing.” The company declined to say more.
The most generous explanation I can gather is that this is an old, outdated policy that should have been retired a long time ago.
Twitter originally limited Barghout’s ability to tweet, retweet, follow, and like for 12 hours, according to screenshots he provided Limit. It is not clear why his account was incorrectly censored at first; Twitter could not immediately say whether it was a human activity or an automated system.