Twitter begins enforcing rules on 'hateful, abusive' content

19 December, 2017, 11:09 | Author: Gary Shelton
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Among those accounts suspended Monday are those of white nationalist Jared Taylor and his American Renaissance group, and British far-right activists Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, along with the American Nazi Party. The enforcement of these rules will be a welcome step given how rampant offensive content can be on the platform, but the test will be whether or not Twitter will enforce them consistently.

Twitter was also recently accused of failing to act on anti-Muslim videos retweeted by US President Donald Trump after the incident made global headlines.

Twitter on Monday began enforcing new rules that would suspend users that are associated with hate groups, according toRecode. The social media service announced the policy change in November.

"Any tool that enables censorship online can be used against potentially everyone - regardless of ideology", Emma Llansó, the director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said after several far-right groups were removed from social media sites this summer.

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Twitter said it will also allow some hateful imagery and hate symbols in tweets, but users will be warned that it's sensitive content.

Twitter has 330 million monthly active users.

Hate imagery will now fall under the rubric of Twitter's "sensitive media policy", and that will include any "logos, symbols, or images whose objective is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin".

Twitter did not provide a list of other accounts that have been immediately affected, and the company did not respond to Ars' request for comment pre-publication.

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The suspensions are part of Twitter attempt to better combat hate-speech and abuse on its platform.

Among the accounts to be suspended is that of deputy leader Jayda Fransen, who gained notoriety when three anti-Muslim videos she posted were retweeted by US President Donald Trump.

Twitter said in a statement that it would shut down accounts affiliated with non-government organisations that promote violence against civilians, and ban user names that constitute a violent threat or racial slur.

Recode noted that the new Twitter rules did not specifically mention the alt-right or neo-Nazi groups.

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So long as governmental forces are "currently engaging in (or have in engaged in)" peace-making efforts, Twitter said, violent tweets, messaging and other incidents will not be held to the same standard as individuals espousing similarly violent rhetoric.

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