Twitter announced a new set of rules on Tuesday that effectively bans the dissemination of memes and the mockery of public figures.
The changes come one day after Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey resigned to usher in a new era under free-speech foe and new CEO Parag Agrawal, who, while he served as Twitter’s chief technology officer, expressed disregard for the First Amendment.
Under the new Twitter policy, photos of public figures will be subject to removal based on the censorship platform’s desires.
“This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse,” the policy states. “However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior.”
Twitter clarified that exceptions would be made for content that — you guessed it — corrupt left-wing corporate media outlets deem acceptable.
“We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service. For instance, we would take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by mainstream/traditional media (newspapers, TV channels, online news sites), or if a particular image and the accompanying tweet text adds value to the public discourse, is being shared in public interest, or is relevant to the community.”
As some Twitter users pointed out, with this new policy, the Big Tech company has carved out a way to justify removing or banning any content it deems “irrelevant” and effectively solidifies Twitter’s role as a gatekeeper of information instead of the free-speech platform it once claimed to be.
Rather than prevent doxxing, which they'll continue to selectively allow, this will be used to prevent the public seeing what happened at a protest, or a crime scene, etc. wherein who is public and what can be shown is a determination of media/tech entities. pic.twitter.com/rpLrzMeeU1
— 𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝚋𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚘𝚗 (@lndian_Bronson) November 30, 2021
Put more concretely:
This is not a policy to protect high school kids from agitators sharing videos of them without their consent. That will still be allowed
This policy is to protect Chris Cuomo when someone shows that he's been lying about his quarantine status.
— PoliMath (@politicalmath) November 30, 2021
These tactics have, of course, been used by Twitter in the past to justify stifling the spread of the Hunter Biden laptop story, subduing content about COVID-19 treatments and vaccine side effects, and intentionally deplatforming former President Donald Trump. But the updated policy suggests the Silicon Valley giant’s net is getting wider and seeks to stop even the smallest of accounts from sharing information that could damage Democrats or their propaganda narratives.