In June, Twitter said it would start placing a notice over tweets from certain elected and government officials who break the company's rules. But it turns out Twitter is doing more than just slapping a warning label over offending tweets the company leaves up in the name of public interest. On Tuesday, Twitter said users won't be able to like, reply, share or retweet these tweets. Users will still be able to share the tweet with a comment.
"These actions are meant to limit the tweet's reach while maintaining the public's ability to view and discuss it," Twitter said in a blog post. The company also outlines when they're more likely to make an exception for public interest.
Twitter hasn't applied the notice yet, but the company has faced numerous complaints in the past from people who say President Donald Trump has used the social media site to spread hate speech, misinformation and threats.
The new notice applies only to elected and government officials along with candidates or nominees for political office with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, which would include Trump. Users will see a notice that states "The Twitter rules about abusive behavior apply to this tweet. However, Twitter has determined it may be in the public's interest for the tweet to remain available."
Twitter said that the public interest exception doesn't mean politicians can say whatever they want on the platform. The company said it would remove a tweet if it "includes a declarative call to action that could harm a specific individual or group" or interferes with someone's rights.
The company is less likely to make exceptions if the content promotes terrorism or threatens violence against a certain group of people.
"We will err toward removal where there is evidence the content may be leading to actual or likely offline harm," Twitter said in the blog post.
The company said it used the public interest exception fewer than five times in 2018.