New Twitter survey asks about how rules should apply to world leaders

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During his four years in the White House, Donald Trump got away with things on Twitter that would’ve earned most users multiple suspensions, if not an outright ban. Now, the social media platform wants to know what you thought of that.

Twitter is running a survey from March 19 through April 12 that seeks input from people who have thoughts and opinions about the platform’s hands-off policy around world leaders. So if you didn’t and still don’t care for the double-standard Twitter applies to political leaders, this is your chance to say so in a way that matters.


“Twitter wants your input on how we should shape our policies and enforce our rules about world leaders’ participation in the public conversation,” the survey’s introduction reads. “Your opinions will be used to help us define this policy and future iterations.”

You can find it right here.

The survey lays out a series of randomly generated scenarios, with elements such as the problematic thing said (such as an ethnic slur or COVID-19 misinformation) and the number of prior offenses changing from scenario to scenario. Each one asks users to choose which response they’d prefer from a set of fixed choices.


Twitter wants to know what you think of its rules not applying to world leaders

Image: Screenshot: twitter

After a few scenarios like the one above, the survey switches gears to ask a series of questions about how world leaders should be held accountable for bad behavior, including if permanent suspension should be a possibility and what circumstances would lead to that result. Participants also have an opportunity to write feedback directly, but note there’s a 1,000-character limit on any response.

This is one of those rare product surveys that might actually be worth your time. Especially if you’ve been troubled at any point in the past four years over Twitter’s lack of action as Trump repeatedly flouted the platform’s policies. 

The fact is, there are easy links to be drawn between Trump’s provocative Twitter presence since 2015 especially and the horrific scene that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. For whatever the courts eventually have to say about the role he played in nurturing an attempted insurrection, the evidence that his words and actions in preceding years radicalized supporters is painfully clear.

The actual shape of how a platform like Twitter responds now, in the aftermath of such a brutal lesson as Jan. 6, remains to be seen. But at least the company is (apparently) giving users a voice in guiding those decisions.



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