New York, NY – In response to reports Twitter announced that it would begin labeling tweets from national political figures, PEN America issued the following statement:

“Twitter’s newly announced policy appears to strike a careful balance in responding to the dual imperative of enforcing the platform’s own policies about abusive behavior while also protecting the public’s right to access the unfiltered views of political figures and government officials. Of course the test will be in the implementation, and in ensuring that the policy does not excessively encumber access to information for constituents and other users; the plan to use this tool sparingly appears to be a good one,” said Summer Lopez, Senior Director of Free Expression Programs, PEN America.  “Social media provides unique and important opportunities for direct engagement between political leaders and the public, which should be protected.  That said, words can have consequences and the words of political leaders can be especially piercing and potent.  If this policy inspires a more considered approach by political leaders to their tweets, that may be a good thing.” 


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Suzanne Trimel, Media Relations Consultant, [email protected]