Twitter getting tough on hateful content as new guidelines come into action
Twitter has admitted it “may make some mistakes” as it strives to enforce a new policy aimed at reducing hateful and abusive content on the platform.
The social site is now enforcing updates, first revealed last month, in order to create “a safer environment” online.
In a statement, the social site said: “Today, we are starting to enforce these policies across Twitter. In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process.
“We’ll evaluate and iterate on these changes in the coming days and weeks, and will keep you posted on progress along the way.
“We’re making these changes to create a safer environment for everyone.”
Among the changes, Twitter has broadened its hateful conduct policy and rules against abusive behaviour to include information posted in an account bio.
Any account where the username, display name or profile bio is used to “reduce someone to less than human” will be permanently suspended.
A permanent suspension will also follow if account information includes a violent threat or multiple slurs, epithets, racist or sexist tropes or incites fear.
Users can also be reported at account level for choosing to use hateful imagery – “logos symbols or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others” in their header or profile images.
Account owners will be required to remove media which breaches the rules.
Twitter also has new rules on violence and physical harm which extends to activities “both on and off the platform”.
Specifically, the change refers to accounts which affiliate with organisations that promote violence to further their cause.
Governments and military accounts are excluded from the rule.
The social site has been overhauling many of its policies in recent weeks following repeated criticism over how it handles abusive content.
Last month the site paused its verification process as well as removing verified “blue tick” badges from right-wing figures, including former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson.
This came after it was criticised for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, a prominent alt-right figure in the US who organised a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Twitter said the verified badge was never meant as a sign of endorsement and the firm’s boss Jack Dorsey described the process as “broken”.