Aimed at reducing hateful content on its platform, Twitter will start penalising accounts from Monday that include “hateful imagery and display names”, or those who “use username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behaviour”, the media reported. According to a report in ReCode late on Sunday, “for Twitter, the two new restrictions are attempts to combat rampant harassment and abuse on the site”. Twitter announced new guidelines covering abuse, hateful conduct, violence and physical harm in November. Facing criticism over the years for its poor handling of “abuse”, Twitter “updated” its rules in October and November, clarifying its policies on graphic violence, spam and self-harm, among others. The changes are part of revamp to Twitter’s policies surrounding online abuse. The biggest updates on the platform include abusive behaviour, self-harm, spam and related behaviours, graphic violence and adult content. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also announced plans to act more aggressively on violence and sexual abuse.
In an internal email which was obtained by Wired.com, Twitter’s head of safety policy in October emailed members of its Trust and Safety Council on new rules to promote free speech and curb violence and sexual harassment. “We hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them,” Twitter said. “We will immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” the email read.
“If the account appears to be dedicated to posting non-consensual nudity then we will suspend the entire account immediately,” it added.
On hate symbols and imagery, it said: “At a high level, hateful imagery, hate symbols, etc will now be considered sensitive media (similar to how we handle and enforce adult content and graphic violence)”. On violent groups, Twitter said it will take enforcement action against organisations that use or have historically used violence as a means to advance their cause.