Twitter To Tone Down Sensitive Material With Link Flagging

With Twitter’s millions of users you kind of expect plenty of colorful content to fly around the site. Although the site is a place for anyone and everyone, members are free to tweet and upload images of what ever they want. This can prove tricky for parents who’s kids use the site as sensitive material and strong language is not filtered. As a result of this Twitter will be adding a feature which allows you to flag tweets that may be sensitive.

Mashable reports that a new field in Twitter’s streaming API will show up each time a tweet contains a link. The site announced yesterday that the option to flag the link will be given so that young people of those who are easily offended can be warned. The general idea is that you view the link first and based on what you find, you can single out the tweet as containing possibly sensitive material.

The new feature has not been implemented yet, but some may be pleased to know that it is in the testing stage. This seems like a good idea as it will make the social experience more appropriate for children. Parents having more control over what their kids watch is important, it would be bad business for Twitter if complaints were repeatedly reported because of mature content being viewed by young eyes. The feature should also improve the experience of parents, giving them piece of mind that their children have not been upset by something in a bad link.

Twitter has stated that it does not plan to censor material and rightly so. The main point of these social networking sites is about being able to express yourself and interact with your friends and family in the way you normally would. It is sensible to put precautions like these in place, but if the likes of Twitter and Facebook start censoring things like swearing, then do not be surprised if a mass exodus from the sites materializes.

The site has however said in its media policy document that they will “remove media that might be considered sensitive such as nudity, violence, or medical procedures.” Again the same argument appears, should users be able to share and upload anything they want? I would say yes but in moderation, it would probably be a bit inappropriate to upload porn and disturbing images to the site. Facebook shares the same opinion as Twitter on this topic.

Twitter representative Taylor Singletary issued a statement on the matter saying: “In the future, we’ll have a family of additional API methods & fields for handling end-user ‘media settings’ and possibly sensitive content.” We do not know exactly when Twitter will start rolling the new feature out but for some it seems like the sooner the better. Are you entitled to your freedom on social sites or should you follow all of the rules? Let us know your feelings on this by leaving a comment.