Twitter amends rules on how it handles abusive behavior

Twitter amends rules on how it handles abusive behavior

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The social network giant, on Friday, has rewritten the published rules on how it handles abusive behavior.

The amendment, however, doesn’t alter fundamental policies but rather seeks to add greater context–clarify its policies and how it enforces them.

These new rules aim to expatiate on how Twitter deals with abusive behavior, spam, and graphic violence and adult content, and how it expects its users to behave following criticism of how the platform enforces its policies.

This action is part of a series of changes being carried out by the social network to address complaints of abuse and harassment on its website. Twitter said the changes reflected the “latest trends in online behaviour”.

As reported on CNET, the company has come under criticism for how it handles abusive behavior on the site, particularly in relation to how it deals with tweets from President Donald Trump. Many have wondered why some of his tweets aren’t being deleted by the social media platform, despite their apparent violation of Twitter’s rules.

Twitter shared on Friday that it will:

  • email people if their account is suspended, explaining which policy they violated
  • consider the context and “newsworthiness” of tweets when evaluating whether they are abusive
  • contact people who may be considering harming themselves to connect them with healthcare professionals.

Twitter said in a statement, “We have worked on this clarified version of our rules for the past few months to ensure it takes into account the latest trends in online behavior, considers different cultural and social contexts, and properly sets expectations around what’s allowed on Twitter.”

In its new rules, the social network says: “We believe in freedom of expression and open dialogue, but that means little as an underlying philosophy if voices are silenced because people are afraid to speak up.”

The new policies, which will arrive on 22 November, are related to “violent groups, hateful imagery, and abusive usernames”. However, Twitter said it will discuss its enforcement options in a separate update on 14 November.


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