Twitter Imposes New Limits on Politicians Ahead of Election

The Washington Post reports that Twitter is imposing new warnings on politicians’ tweets, restricting “premature declarations of victory,” and will block calls for polling violence or disruptions. The new initiatives were announced on Friday as it rolled out the changes in an attempt to protect the platform from abuse and manipulation leading up to the November 3 election.

The moves will temporarily alter the look of Twitter also. Twitter has announced that retweeting will now require an extra step that is designed to encourage users to add their own thoughts before posting, a move that appears to go against Twitter’s general design of quick short messages being tweeted and retweeted.

Twitter’s recommendations and trends features will also get new designs intended to prevent abuse. These changes are similar to those recently announced by Facebook and appear to be mainly aimed at combating what Twitter considers to be efforts to manipulate the political landscape.

Vijaya Gadde, the legal, policy and trust & safety lead at Twitter, and Kayvon Beykpour, its product lead, published a blog post discussing the changes stating: “Twitter has a critical role to play in protecting the integrity of the election conversation, and we encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair and legitimate democratic process this November.”

The new changes also state that U.S. political figures with more than 100,000 followers will now be subject to “additional warnings and restrictions” if they spread falsehoods. This rule would include President Donald Trump who boasts a follower count of 87 million. Twitter has previously taken action to label tweets from President Trump in the past attempting to fact-check the President.

Twitter also plans to restrict the way that it recommends content to users, starting on Friday users will be limited in their ability to view content from users that they don’t follow directly likely impacting the viral spread of tweets.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com