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What to Know About Twitter's Anti-Hate Speech Policy

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 20, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People sometimes use Twitter for the wrong reasons, but Twitter is doing something right.

Following up on its campaign against revenge porn and harassment, the company has a new program to fight hate speech. Twitter already had policies to remove threats of violence, and now the company is drilling down on hateful imagery, symbols, and related behaviors -- especially against hate groups.

Twitter is focused on eliminating hate from its platform, starting with a video President Trump retweeted from a racist group called Britain First.

"What the Hell Are You Doing?"

British journalist Piers Morgan called out the President for his tweet, which sparked an international backlash from London to Washington. The propaganda tweet also turned out to be "fake news."

"Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump - what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists?" Morgan said. "Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets."

Enforcing its new policy, Twitter took care of that. The company also suspended two other accounts tied to the far-right hate group.

The company said it will not tolerate hate speech based on "race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease." It also explained that its new policy includes any abusive language in the profile information of an account.

Prohibited Conduct

On its blog post, Twitter gave examples of prohibited conduct, including:

  • Violent threats
  • Wishes for the physical harm, death, or disease of individuals or groups
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which/with which such groups have been the primary targets or victims
  • Behavior that incites fear about a protected group
  • Repeated and/or or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone

The company said it will enforce its policy by asking account users to remove offensive information or by suspending accounts. Twitter also asked for users to report violations.

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