Newsworthiness Redefined: X Changes Its Public Interest Policy


X, formerly known as Twitter, has recently made significant changes to its “Public interest expectations” policy. The updated policy redefines what posts are considered newsworthy and can remain on the platform, even if they violate the rules. This move comes as part of X’s ongoing efforts to address and moderate content on the platform.

Key Takeaway

X has revised its “Public interest expectations” policy, redefining newsworthiness and expanding eligibility beyond verified and elected officials. The company is taking measures to combat violent and hateful content, partnering with organizations to counter terrorism and monitoring for antisemitic speech. However, challenges regarding misinformation and algorithmic promotion persist.

Redefining Newsworthiness

Prior to the update, X required posts to have at least 100,000 followers to be considered newsworthy. Furthermore, only verified accounts were eligible for this designation. However, under the new policy, the requirement for follower count has been removed. Instead, the focus is now on “high profile accounts,” although the exact definition of such accounts has not been provided in the updated policy.

Previously, the policy stated that exceptions to content removal were limited to elected and government officials. The revised policy removes this restriction, allowing for a broader range of profiles to be eligible for newsworthy status.

X Takes Action on Violent and Hateful Content

In light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, X has taken steps to remove newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts under its Violent and Hateful Entities Policy. The company is also collaborating with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to combat the dissemination of terrorist content on the platform. Additionally, X’s Safety account mentions proactive monitoring for antisemitic speech, although specific actions taken have not been divulged.

Furthermore, X has heavily relied on its crowdsourced moderation tool, Community Notes, to provide contextual information on posts. These notes now appear within minutes of content being posted, enabling users to better understand the background and context of the shared content.

Misinformation and Algorithmic Challenges

Despite X’s efforts to combat misinformation, there have been reports of misinformation circulating on the platform. Verified accounts have been found posting fake news, such as false claims about Joe Biden approving an $8 billion military grant for Israel. X’s algorithm has also been criticized for boosting posts, including video game clips falsely portrayed as war footage, shared by paid users. Elon Musk, the owner of X, faced scrutiny after recommending accounts, some of which have a history of posting antisemitic comments and false information.

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