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Twitter to begin enforcing new rules around hate speech and abuse


By Minda Smiley | Reporter

December 18, 2017 | 3 min read

Twitter has announced that it will begin enforcing a number of new rules regarding what users can and cannot post as it continues to fight rampant hate speech and abuse on the platform.

a picture of Twitter, taken from Pexels

Twitter has announced that it will begin enforcing new rules to combat hate speech on the platform

Starting today, Twitter will begin removing content that “glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act.” According to the social network, this includes content that celebrates any violent act in a manner that may inspire others to replicate it or any violence where people were targeted because of their membership in a protected group. Tweets that violate this policy will be removed, while repeat violations will result in permanent suspension.

In addition, Twitter will be on the lookout for accounts that are affiliated with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes, whether it be on or off the platform. However, this policy will not apply to government and military organizations, and Twitter says that it will consider exceptions for groups that are engaging in peaceful resolution.

Accounts that abuse or threaten others via their profile information, whether it be through their username, display or bio, will also be subject to permanent suspension. Twitter says it plans to develop internal tools to help it identify violating accounts to supplement user reports.

Additionally, users who include “hateful imagery” in their profile or header images will be required to remove it. When this type of imagery appears in tweets, Twitter says it “may place this content behind an interstitial advising viewers to be aware that they will see sensitive media if they click through.”

Twitter considers hateful imagery to be “logos, symbols, or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” According to Twitter, symbols that are “historically associated with hate groups,” like the Nazi swastika, are examples of hateful imagery.

This spate of updates and rules comes as Twitter continues to receive criticism for not doing enough to curb abuse, hate speech, harassment and violence on the platform. As it moves to more aggressively monitor and remove this type of content, Twitter says it is “working on a robust appeals process” for users since it “may make some mistakes” along the way.

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