Twitter is creating a policy that addresses dehumanizing language on Twitter, and they want users’ help in developing it.
“For the last three months, we have been developing a new policy to address dehumanizing language on Twitter,” the blog post says, “Language that makes someone less than human can have repercussions off the surface, including normalizing serious violence.”
The current hateful conduct policy prohibits “the promotion of violence against or direct attacks or threats against other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or serious disease.”
The post on Twitter’s blog mentions that even with the hateful conduct policy, there are tweets that are considered abusive that don’t technically break the current rules in place. This is one of the reasons they’re developing the new policy.
The new effort will expand the hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanizes others based on their identity or membership in a minority group.
Under the current policy, if a group is not specifically named then the tweet—no matter how offensive the contents—doesn’t break the hateful conduct policy. The new policy will include tweets that do not directly target any one or more groups, or “sub tweets.”
Twitter said that their policy development process involves in-depth research alongside their Trust and Safety Council and other safety experts. For this new policy, they’re asking members of the Twitter community to give feedback on the policy before it’s put into action.
To make sure that everyone’s perspectives are taken into account, they’re requesting feedback via survey, which is available until Tuesday Oct. 9. at 6 a.m. PST.
“We want your feedback to ensure we consider global perspectives and how this policy may impact different communities and cultures,” the blog post read.
Read the full blog post and get involved with the survey here.
Our hateful conduct policy is expanding to address dehumanizing language and how it can lead to real-world harm. The Twitter Rules should be easier to understand so we’re trying something new and asking you to be part of the development process. Read more and submit feedback.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 25, 2018
This is—of course—causing some very strong reactions from Twitter users, with some saying it threatens free speech.
1. Support free speech and
2. don’t bow down to identity politics and the regressive left.
It’s really not that hard.
— Joel Latto (@joellatto) September 25, 2018
1st amendment doesn’t apply to Twitter. Managing lies, harassment, bullying & physical threats is a corporate responsibility. You understand that Twitter is a private business, right? The Constitution’s right to free speech only applies when the government is trying 2 restrict it
— Jennifer Broughton (@JenneBroughton) September 25, 2018
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below!