Over the years, Twitter has extensively worked towards limiting hateful conduct on the platform. The company has comprehensive rules barring violence and misleading content. However, none of these policies extended to linked content that was being used to effectively bypass the rules. Users started linking content that was otherwise blocked.
Twitter is finally closing the loophole making it harder for users to spread malicious, misleading, and violent content.
Our goal is to block links in a way that’s consistent with how we remove Tweets that violate our rules. We'll start taking action under these updated guidelines on Thursday, July 30.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 28, 2020
The company has also published a blog post detailing the rules under which links to content will be blocked, and these guidelines will take action by 30th July 2020.
According to Twitter:
Twitter will take action to limit or prevent the spread of URL links to content outside Twitter. This is done by displaying a warning notice when the link is clicked, or by blocking the link so that it can’t be Tweeted at all. Moreover, users that frequently share Malicious links, Spammy links, links related to violence and terrorism, illegal goods, and hacked material will be blocked permanently.
How Twitter Surfaces Links
Twitter uses a combination of factors to identify links that display content against the platform’s rules. They receive information from:
- Third-party vendors who specialize in countering spam and malware
- Collaborative information sharing with industry peers and trusted NGO partners
- Internal technology and tools
- Reported Tweets
These links are evaluated based on the following points:
- The source of the URL in question and our degree of certainty
- The severity of the website’s content
- Intent of the sharer