Twitter has renewed its policy with two new measures that will affect the content of the Ukrainian war on the platform. On the one hand, the social network has decided to restrict the visibility of official government accounts, which restrict access to information for its citizens. On the other hand, it will prevent the publication of images of prisoners of war when they are disseminated by armed conflict governments or their official media, or any user, if this is an “offensive intent, such as insult, retaliation or ridicule.”
The company justifies this second measure under Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, which protects the rights of prisoners of war. “We do not want Twitter to be used by state actors to violate this law,” said Cynthia Maxwin, vice president of public policy at the social network. Post Summary of its policies related to the Ukraine war. “We want to enable journalists to carry out their critical work to inform the public to prevent any attempt to violate state-sponsored international humanitarian law,” he later added on the platform.
Both Ukrainian and Russian official media published pictures of POWs on the platform. However, the activity of anonymous users, who post photos and videos of alleged ill-treatment of Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian troops, is exponentially high in the wake of the alleged “silence” of the international media on the issue.
“Serious information imbalance”
An event that will have a direct impact on Russia is Twitter’s decision to limit the scope of official accounts of states, which in turn restricts information to its citizens from abroad. Since the start of the war, the Kremlin has blocked access to Facebook and Twitter, while TikTok has forced Russian users to deny access to content created since the start of the war, in order to avoid the same fate. Instagram was also finally banned in the country a few days later, and the traditional Russian media had to use censorship on all content and opinions about the invasion of Ukraine, which they could not even call a “war.”
Twitter relies on this situation to in turn restrict access to the official channels of the Russian government that serve to communicate its ideology abroad. “When the government blocks or restricts access to online services in its state, undermines the public voice and the ability to freely access information, but continues to use online services for its own communication, it creates a serious information imbalance,” Maxwin said. “Particularly active in inter-state armed conflict, the damage caused by this imbalance is serious, as access to information and the ability to share information are vital,” he added.
The new Twitter policy will prevent reports from appearing in Russian embassies, in other users’ lists as recommended profiles, or in sections such as “search” or “search”. The profiles of the embassies were widely used by the Russian authorities to spread Kremlin discourse, as well as misinformation and war propaganda. In recent days, for example, the account of the Russian embassy in Spain has published numerous tweets denying the deaths of civilians in the city of Bucha and other suburbs north of Kiev, calling it “fake.”
This communication policy of the Russian embassy reports was strengthened after the EU forced digital platforms to block profiles of official Kremlin media outlets such as RT and Sputnik, which are accused of propaganda of war.
Tweet edit button
In another initiative unrelated to content warfare measures on Twitter, Twitter also confirmed this morning that it is working on the ability to add an edit feature to already published tweets. It is a tool that consumers have been asking for for years and it looks like it could be one of the first contributions from the company’s new major shareholder, Elon Musk.
The tycoon, who was promoted to the social network board of directors after taking 9.2% of its shares on Monday, is a loyal user of the platform. He is also known for consulting with his followers on certain personal decisions such as selling shares of Tesla. This Tuesday, already as a member of the Twitter board, Musk posted a poll about whether users wanted “Edit Button”. 4.4 million accounts voted and 73.6% said yes.
Shortly afterwards, other technical managers on the social network confirmed that he had been working on the opportunity for “a few months”. Muskie, the founder of Tesla or SpaceX, was also in the Spanish news for a crossover with Pedro Sanchez, in which the Spanish president invited a tycoon to visit the country’s solar parks.
Source: El Diario