X Changes “Public Interest Expectations” Policy
X, formerly Twitter, has changed its “Public interest expectations” policy to redefine what posts are newsworthy and could be kept up despite the posts defying the platform’s rules.
The company has removed the requirement of having at least 100,000 followers for posts to be considered newsworthy. Previously, only verified accounts would be considered. However, under Elon Musk’s leadership, X has made it possible for people to get verified by paying for a subscription. The updated policy now states that only “high-profile accounts” will count as newsworthy, although it doesn’t provide details on what kind of accounts fall into this category.
Previously, exceptions were limited to elected and government officials:
“At present, we limit exceptions to one critical type of public-interest content—Tweets from elected and government officials—given the significant public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements,”
The new policy removes this restriction to only one category of profiles.
X is making these changes as the Israel-Hamas conflict unfolds. The company notes that there have been more than 50 million posts globally about the topic.
X has been removing “newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts” under its Violent and Hateful Entities Policy. The company also announced its partnership with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to prevent the contribution of terrorist content. X’s Saftey account mentioned proactive monitoring for antisemitic speech but didn’t specify any actions taken so far.
The company heavily relies on Community Notes, its crowdsourced moderation tool, to allow users to post contextual information on posts. X states that these notes now typically appear within minutes of content posting.
Multiple reports have accused X of hosting misinformation about the situation. NBC News reported on verified accounts posting fake news about Joe Biden approving an $8 billion military grant for Israel. A Wired report noted how X’s algorithm boosted posts, including video game clips being passed off as war footage, containing misinformation from paid users. In a now-deleted post, Musk recommended people follow accounts that have previously posted antisemitic comments and false information.