Twitter: Curators are not reporters
Twitter does not consider the staffers responsible for maintaining the company's new curation feature to be reporters, the social network announced Tuesday in a list of rules and regulations governing the product.
The guidelines, which debuted today timed to the launch of Moments, apply to the handful of curators employed by Twitter in New York and San Francisco to compile tweets around current events. According to the guidelines:
- Curators aren't journalists: "Our own curators do not act as reporters or creators of original content; instead, they organize and present compelling content that already exists on Twitter in a straightforward, easy-to-consume way."
- Not every story is worth a moment: Twitter moments should not "invade privacy, encourage illegal activities, exploit or harm minors, or make Twitter, Inc. a focus of the story."
- Moments aren't duplicative: "We do not duplicate curated collections or sets of Tweets embedded on a single third-party website, or those retweeted from a single Twitter account."
- Moments are not slanted toward one point of view: "The Moment will not take a view on a controversial subject." And: "Individual moments should be free from bias. We will use data-driven decision making when choosing Tweets around controversial topics, and highlight the Tweets already receiving the most engagement on Twitter."
- No prurient or illegal depictions unless the story calls for it: "Profanity, violence and nudity should be avoided except where it is necessary to tell a newsworthy story. We will not include content that promotes or depicts illegal conduct."
- The church-state divide remains intact: "Our Moments curation team is not responsible for driving revenue, user growth, or managing Twitter’s partner relationships."
With its guidelines, Twitter answers questions raised last week by New York University professor Jay Rosen and others regarding what sort of editorial posture Twitter's team would assume once Moments launched. The guidelines also set an editorial precedent for major tech companies that are increasingly becoming a destination for news.