X, formerly Twitter, just threw itself into the election interference game with an updated policy that has the veneer of balance but all the hallmarks of the same old censorship.
In a Tuesday blog ridiculously titled “Supporting people’s right to accurate and safe political discourse on X,” the platform announced that its Civic Integrity Policy is back and attempted to claim that it is updated and improved. “We’re updating this policy to make sure we strike the right balance between tackling the most harmful types of content—those that could intimidate or deceive people into surrendering their right to participate in a civic process—and not censoring political debate,” the X Safety wrote.
The policy seems to work from the premise that X should protect Americans from offensive speech rather than protect free speech. “The social media platforms, including Twitter, have a terrible track record for being able to distinguish between constitutionally-protected speech and unprotected threats,” said MRC Vice President for Free Speech Dan Schneider. “Political speech is inherently upsetting to people, and its ‘accuracy’ is certainly subject to debate. That is the actual reason we have a First Amendment right, without which our representational democracy will fail. X should axe this new censorship plot.”
The platform reiterated that although it will allow political ads on the platform, they will be subjected to content moderation. “Starting in the U.S., we’ll continue to apply specific policies to paid-for promoted political posts,” wrote X. “This will include prohibiting the promotion of false or misleading content, including false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election, while seeking to preserve free and open political discourse.” [Emphasis added.]
X’s baffling announcement comes just five days after former President Donald Trump, the 2024 Republican frontrunner, returned to Twitter after being banned by the former infamous regime that ruled Twitter. His first post was his mugshot following a Georgia indictment and arrest for questioning the results of the 2020 election.
The platform went on to defend its infamous fact-checking apparatus called Community Notes. “X shouldn't determine the truthfulness of disputed information,” the platform wrote after having just claimed it would prohibit what it determined to be false information. “[R]ather, we should empower our users to express their opinions and openly debate during elections, in line with our commitment to protecting freedom of expression.”
"The more things change, the more they stay the same," said MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris noted. "Elon Musk bought Twitter with promises to return the social media platform to a haven for free speech – and MRC Free Speech America has monitored his progress – but sadly, since Musk hired leftist former NBC Universal executive Linda Yaccarino we've seen a trend in the wrong direction.”
X also noted that it will label posts that “potentially” violate the policy and will notify users that their reach is being restricted. The Civic Integrity Policy will work alongside X’s infamous “Freedom of speech, not reach” policy which has been highly criticized by many including Morris. “It started with 'freedom of speech, not reach' and has now moved to what appears to be a chapter out of the old draconian Twitter regime's book. Musk, like others before him, needs to return his platform to what inspired him to buy it in the first place: free speech, not censorship," said Morris.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the CensorTrack contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.