BRO0025

Written evidence submitted by Twitter

 

Many thanks for the opportunity for Twitter to provide written evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee inquiry into broadcasting in Wales. Our response seeks to cover the range of areas presented in your questions, but in many areas of your inquiry, Twitter does not conduct research or collect data that is necessary to answer the questions you have asked. In some cases, PSBs may be best placed to answer, based on their measurement and analytics of cross-platform use.

 

With regard to the recently published Draft Media Bill, our understanding at this point is that Twitter does not fall within its scope. As the Bill develops, should any aspects of it become relevant to Twitter and our input is sought, we will be pleased and grateful to engage in collaborative consultation.

About Twitter

 

Twitter is what’s happening in the world and is a public, real-time global information service, where people can see every side of a topic, discover news, share their perspectives, and engage in conversation.

Twitter can be accessed via Twitter.com, and an array of mobile devices via Twitter owned and operated mobile applications (e.g. Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android).

The service allows people to consume, create, distribute, and discover content. From breaking news and entertainment, to sports, politics, and everyday interests, people on Twitter provide insight into every angle of a story. On Twitter, you can join the open conversation, including with photos, video clips, and live-streaming. Twitter requires people using our service to be 13 years of age or older.

We do not collect data that distinguishes public service content from other media content uploaded to Twitter, nor conduct user research on this premise. Users are not required to set a location on their account, but some users may choose to set their location to Wales, or somewhere within Wales (e.g. Cardiff.) We do not have specific research to share based on this classification.

Content partnerships

 

Twitter has established content partnerships, including with media organisations that are Public Service Broadcasters. In addition to this, all partners can consult @TwitterMedia or media.twitter.com. Here we have a range of best practice resources for broadcasters seeking to build reach and retain new audiences.

 

Use of the Welsh language on Twitter

 

The Welsh language is active across the platform with prominent accounts including Sianel Genedlaethol Cymru, BBC Radio Cymru and This is Cymru Wales all tweeting and sharing content in Welsh on the platform.

 

People can search for Welsh language content, create Welsh language communities and host Twitter spaces in Welsh.

 

Twitter Blue and verifications

 

Twitter Blue is our premium subscription service that elevates quality conversations on Twitter. Changes to Twitter Blue and verifications on the platform are important steps we’re taking to improve the quality of conversations on Twitter.

Twitter Blue is an opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select features, like Edit Tweet. A feature of Twitter Blue is prioritised rankings in conversations and search. Tweets that you interact with will receive a small boost in their ranking. Additionally, your replies will receive a boost that ranks them closer to the top.

Twitter Blue subscribers will appear in the Verified tab within other users’ notifications tab which highlights replies, mentions, and engagement from Blue subscribers.

 

Twitter Blue is the same price for everyone, as we believe everyone should have equal access to it. In the UK, pricing starts at £9.60 per month or £100.80 per year.

 

In addition, we are also piloting a new service called Twitter Verified Organisations, which is a service for business entities on Twitter that adds a gold checkmark to official business accounts. More information about Twitter Verified Organisations is available here.

 

Twitter is committed to treating everyone fairly and equitably. All Twitter users must abide by the Twitter Rules, and these do not apply differently to subscribers.

 

The Twitter Rules and age appropriate content policies

 

As outlined in the Twitter Rules, there is no place on Twitter for violent and hateful entities, including (but not limited to) terrorist organisations, violent extremist groups, perpetrators of violent attacks, or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities. The violence and hate these entities engage in and/or promote can jeopardise the safety of those targeted accounts maintained by individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, or mass violent attacks, as well as any accounts glorifying the perpetrator(s), or dedicated to sharing manifestos and/or third party links where related content is hosted. We may also take action against Tweets disseminating manifestos or other content produced by perpetrators.

 

In addition, Twitter does not allow violent speech in the platform, in order to ensure the safety of our users and prevent the normalisation of violent actions.

 

People use Twitter to show what’s happening in the world, often sharing images and videos as part of the conversation. Sometimes, this media can depict sensitive topics, including graphic content and adult nudity and sexual behaviour. We recognise that some people may not want to be exposed to sensitive content, which is why we balance allowing people to share this type of media with helping people who want to avoid it to do so.

 

As outlined in the Twitter Rules, users may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video or in profile or header images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted. For this reason, you can’t include graphic content or adult nudity and sexual behaviour within areas that are highly visible on Twitter, including in live video, profile, header, List banner images, or Community cover photos. If you share this content on Twitter, you need to mark your account as sensitive. Doing so places images and videos behind an interstitial (or warning message) that needs to be acknowledged before your media can be viewed.

 

Using this feature means that people who don’t want to see sensitive media can avoid it, or make an informed decision before they choose to view it. We also restrict specific sensitive media, such as adult nudity and sexual behaviour, for viewers who are under 18 or viewers who do not include a birth date on their profile. We restrict viewers who are under 18, or who do not include a birth date on their profile, from viewing adult content. People over 18 can opt-out of viewing sensitive media on Twitter by updating their settings here.

 

Under the sensitive media policy, there are also some types of sensitive media content that we don’t allow at all, because they have the potential to normalise violence and cause distress to those who view them.

 

Further resources are available including:

          How to add a birth date to your profile

        How to adjust birth date visibility settings (visibility of your birth date is defaulted to private if you update it after January 2022)

        How Twitter uses your age to show you more relevant content, including ads, in accordance with our Privacy Policy

 

Many thanks again for the opportunity to provide written evidence to the Committee’s Inquiry into broadcasting in Wales.

 

 

14 June 2023