Twitter Seeks Public Opinion on How to Treat Rule-Breaking World Leaders


Twitter said on Thursday it will seek public input on when and how it should ban world leaders, saying it was reviewing policy and considering whether the leaders should be held to the same rules as other users. Social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook have been under scrutiny for the way they handle accounts of politicians and government officials, particularly following their ban on former US President Donald Trump’s account for inciting violence after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Twitter said it would release a survey on March 19 to find out whether users think politicians should be subject to the usual Twitter rules and what enforcement action should be taken if they break them. The survey will close on April 12 at 5pm PT (April 13, 5.30am IST).

The microblogging site said that to ensure that a global perspective is reflected in the feedback the questionnaire will be available in the coming days in 14 languages: English, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Tagalog. This practice, Twitter says, is consistent with the approach it has taken in previous public surveys.

Facebook, which indefinitely suspended Trump in January, has asked its independent oversight board to decide whether the ban should stand.

Twitter said it was also in the process of consulting with human rights experts, civil society, and academics about the policy.

“We want to serve the public conversation and allow the public to hear from and engage with leaders around the world. Ultimately, our aim is to have a policy that appropriately balances fundamental human rights and considers the global context in which we operate,” Twitter said in a blog post.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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