Twitter is already preparing for the mid-term elections to be held on November 8. Its mission is not to act as a platform and allow all voices to have their place in this public forum, but to intervene in the conversation.
The platform itself explains it in these words, "We aim to enable healthy civic conversation on Twitter, while ensuring people have the context they need to make informed decisions about content they encounter."
This decision by Twitter to condition the conversation is not new. It is part of what it calls "Civic integrity policy," which the company has been practicing since 2018. This is what part of the public that feel to be censored by the social network calls "leftist bias."
Since "civic integrity policy" is a title that gives little information about Twitter's intentions, the company spells it out in these words:
You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. In addition, we may label and reduce the visibility of Tweets containing false or misleading information about civic processes in order to provide additional context.
The platform not only silences certain information, but also provides its own information to guide voters and offer them the news that Twitter considers appropriate:
Twitter wants to empower voters to find reliable information about how to register, how to vote, and the choices on their ballot. To make it easier to find reliable news and accurate information about participating in the civic process, we’re launching a number of product updates.
It remains to be seen what Twitter employees and management will mean by misinformation or other information worthy of being widely shared on the network. As far as employees are concerned, the website Vox has collected data on employee donations to the parties, prepared by the pro-transparency Center for Responsive Politics.
Vox ranks technology companies based on the percentage of their employees that donate to the Democratic Party. By that criterion Twitter is the second most pro-Democrat company, second only to Netflix. At Twitter, 98.7% of the employees that make political contributions, do so to candidates belonging to the Democrat Party, while only 1.3% give to GOP candidates.
Censorship is good for the planet
In the case of Twitter executives, the most illustrative case is that of Alex Martínez, Twitter Lead Client Partner. Martínez was recorded with a hidden camera, so he presumably expressed what the company policy is, without the pressure of conforming to what Twitter allows its employees to say.
Alex Martinez explained in the video that Twitter's work goes beyond merely facilitating freedom of expression. It is not really known whether it is beyond that or not, in the sense that what Twitter does falls short of defending freedom of expression.
According to the senior company employee, Twitter is doing "something that’s good for the planet, and not just to give people free speech." A freedom (of speech) that perhaps for the company is not so important. And there's a reason for that: "People don’t know how to make a rational decision if you don’t put out correct things that are supposed to be out in the public." People don't know, but Twitter does: "If that means a level of censorship to make it right... I guess it goes into the idea of what's right."