Twitter updates rules on banned content, abusive behavior

December 30, 2015 07:58
Twitter's new rules explicitly ban hateful speech and other wrong use of the microblogging platform. Photo: Bloomberg

Microblogging platform Twitter has updated its rules, laying out in clearer terms its definition of banned content and abusive behavior that will prompt the company to delete accounts.

"As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs, but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse," Megan Cristina, director of Trust and Safety at Twitter, said in a blog post Tuesday while announcing the changes.

"You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease," the revised rules say, according to Reuters.

The company previously used a more generic warning that banned users from threatening or promoting "violence against others", the report noted.

The move came after Twitter has faced growing criticism that it was not doing enough to thwart jihadist groups such as Islamic State from using the site for propaganda and recruitment.

US lawmakers proposed legislation earlier this month that would require social media operators, including Twitter and Facebook to notify federal authorities of any detected "terrorist activity".

Tuesday's announcement did not disclose changes to Twitter's enforcement strategy.

The new rules, meanwhile, also say that Twitter might respond to reports that somebody is considering "self-harm".

This may be done by getting in touch with the person to express concern and also provide contact information to mental health practitioners.

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