Twitter announced that it was monitoring “emerging narratives” about the Ukraine war that will be censored if they represent a 'violation of the company’s policies.'
The announcement was made in response to Twitter deleting tweets and suspending accounts that had posted videos of Russian tank divisions and helicopters heading to Ukraine. After users complained, Twitter acknowledged that it had targeted the accounts in “error” and they were later restored.
However, a statement by a Twitter spokesperson is likely to cause alarm amongst free speech advocates: “We took enforcement action on a number of accounts in error,” the statement said, adding, “We’ve been proactively monitoring for emerging narratives that are violative of our policies.”
As anyone who has fallen foul of Twitter's policies the tech company make strenuous efforts to control the narrative of any major story, deleting any account that doesn't agree with it's ideologies, whilst repeatingly claiming that it is a tech platform and does not manipulate news in this way.
The use of the term “emerging narratives” suggests that Twitter will begin censoring certain perspectives on the conflict in the context of their policy on “misinformation.” The catch-all phrase for anything they don't agree with.
The problematic “narratives” are likely to be any that question Joe Biden's response. We saw the same type of censorship under the 'misinformation' banner for skepticism expressed towards COVID vaccines as well as the lab leak theory, which was once deemed to be ‘harmful misinformation’ but is now accepted by Twitter as the most likely explanation and is now being allowed through.
Commentators have reported that Twitter will use the Russian attack on Ukraine to push for further censorship and blacklisting of free speech in the west.
For weeks, leftists have been Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson as being guilty of “treason” over him accusing the Biden administration of exploiting tensions between Russia and Ukraine to distract from the president’s dreadful handling of domestic issues. The word “traitor” also trended on Twitter yesterday in response to Nigel Farage suggesting that NATO should share some blame for Putin’s actions.