Twitter has unveiled a new policy banning hate speech
SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter on Wednesday unveiled a new policy banning “violent speech” on its platform, although the rules appear to be very similar to the guidelines against violent threats the company has in place. its book before Elon Musk took it over.
Among the updates, Twitter expanded its policy to include a ban on “coded language,” commonly called “dog whistles,” used to indirectly incite violence. It also added a rule that prohibits “threatening to harm civilian homes and residences, or infrastructure essential to daily, civic, or business activities.”
The additions come as San Francisco-based Twitter prepares to comply with new European Union rules that begin this fall. The new rules, called the Digital Services Act, require tech companies to better police their platforms for material that, for example, promotes terrorism, child sexual abuse, hate speech. speech and commercial scams.
Twitter’s new violent speech policy states that “healthy conversations do not thrive when violent speech is used to deliver a message. As a result, we have a zero tolerance policy on violent speech to ensure the safety of our users and prevent the normalization of violent actions.
But Twitter had a version of this rule on the books in October 2021, a year before Musk bought the company for $44 billion, according to a snapshot of its rules site on the Internet’s Wayback Machine Archives. The old rule states that Twitter has a “zero tolerance policy against violent threats. Those deemed to be sharing violent threats will face immediate and permanent suspension of their account.
Twitter has also edited and reshuffled its policies, though some of the changes appear to be purely cosmetic. For example, the prohibition of violent threats and wishes to harm a person or a group of people used to be in a section called “Abusive behavior” and is now in a new section called that “Vicious Speech Policy.”
The company has maintained that it books a policy that prohibits “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” which some transgender advocates fear will be removed.
Of course, policies are only as good as their implementation. Having lost most of its workforce through a series of layoffs, firings and resignations, it’s unclear whether Twitter will be able to hold its users to new — and old — policies. The system is not perfect to begin with, especially in countries outside the US and EU