Science

Twitter clarifies existing rules to explain enforcement rationale

Twitter clarifies existing rules to explain enforcement rationale”

In a new blog post from the Twitter Safety team, the firm said the policy updates focused on abusive behaviour, self-harm, spam and graphic content.

Twitter also updated its rules regarding tweets that express thoughts of self-harm to clarify how strictly it enforces the policy and how it communicates with people displaying that behavior.

The new rules, which Twitter released Friday, don't alter the fundamentals of its previous rules but rather seek to clarify its policies and enforcement.

Twitter is revamping its rules to better protect its 328 million users from online bullying and harassment. Abuse is nothing new to Twitter users, but the platform has been under increased pressure since October's #WomenBoycottTwitter protest, which urged people to forgo tweeting for a day to prod Twitter into improving how it vets content.

Twitter now provides more detail around what it considers "graphic violence" (gruesome death, crime and accident scenes, bodily harm, dismemberment, and torture, among other things), and "adult content" (full or partial nudity, and stimulations of sexual acts, among other things), but notes that some of this content might be permitted if marked as "sensitive media".

Among the changes that Twitter has made is more explicitly defining what "abusive behavior" on its platform looks like.

That means determining if the behavior in question is targeted, if a report has been filed and by whom, and if the tweet itself is newsworthy.

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. Twitter can always fall back on the "newsworthiness" claim if users are more famous or popular, although that didn't seem to help strategist and consultant Roger Stone, who was banned for life for the less-than-explicit "violation of Twitter rules".

Twitter will update its rules again on November 22 with new policies regarding violent groups, hateful imagery and abusive usernames. We're also updating our media policy Help Center page so it includes examples that help set expectations around the types of content covered by this policy.



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