X changes its public interest policy to redefine ‘newsworthiness’ of posts

X, formerly Twitter, has changed its “Public interest expectations” policy to redefine which 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 newsworthy. The earlier policy said only verified accounts would be considered for newsworthy posts. But since X has made it possible for people to get verified by paying for a subscription under Elon Musk’s leadership, the new version of the policy says posts only by “a high-profile account” counts as a newsworthy post. However, the updated page doesn’t give any details on what kind of accounts are considered “high-profile.”

The earlier version of the policy said that 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 policy said earlier.

The new policy removes the wording about restricting exceptions to posts from only one category of profiles.

The Musk-owned social media platform said it is making changes as the Israel-Hamas conflict is unfolding. The company noted that users have posted 50 million posts on the topic.

X said it has been removing “newly created Hamas-affiliated accounts” under its Violent and Hateful Entities Policy. Further, it stated that it is partnering with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to prevent the contribution of “terrorist content.” The company’s Safety account added that it is proactively monitoring for antisemitic speech, but didn’t say what kind of action it has taken until now.

The company has relied heavily on Community Notes, its crowdsourced moderation tool, to allow users to post contextual info on posts. X said that these notes now “typically appear within minutes of content posting.”

There have been multiple reports about X hosting misinformation about the situation. NBC News reported multiple verified accounts posting fake news about Joe Biden approving an $8 billion military grant for Israel. A Wired report noted that X’s algorithm boosted posts — including video game clips being passed off as war footage — with misinformation from paid users. In a now-deleted post, Musk recommended people follow accounts which have posted antisemitic comments and false information in the past.


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