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Twitter Updates Rules To Provide More Clarity On Abusive And Hateful Content

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Twitter isn’t about to take harassment on its platform lightly. In a bid to make the site a safer place for the public(and brands, of course) to communicate, the company has announced much needed changes to its terms of service, clearly differentiating what it considers abusive behaviour and what it does not.

This move, the blog post says, is in line with their policy to ‘protect freedom of expression.’

As per the newly updated rules, any of the following activities will result in suspension of the concerned account:

  • Violent threats(direct or indirect)
  • Harassment
  • Hateful content that targets users on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, ageor disease
  • Multiple account abuse
  • Impersonation
  • Publishing of private info(confidential info such as addresses and passwords)

Offending accounts may have to verify their email address or verify their account via contact number. And if the line has been breached too far, the account holder might even have to delete that particulat objectionable tweet.

It is notable that in the past, Twitter rules did contain the words ‘abuse and spam’ regarding hate speech and violence, however nothing substantial was presented for the same. The new rules have clarified Twitter’s stance on the subject.

The San-Francisco based company has included rules as to how it will help prevent self-harm by providing the concerned user with contact details of Twitter’s mental health partners.

Twitter’s efforts to clamp down on undesirable behaviour and abuse on its platform have been much talked about in the recent past, with even the then CEO Dick Costolo admitting Twitter has a problem with abuse in a memo.

He claimed abuse and the lower than expected user growth were directly related.

We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.

Back then, the company had hired more staff to report abuse, and added tools for reporting harassment. A few months back, it had suspended accounts that were sharing sport GIFs without permission.

Security obviously continues to be on the top of a social network’s priority, as is evident by the measures introduced by them time and again. Facebook had added a security feature that allowed users to be alerted against state-sponsored attacks.

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