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Twitter ‘dehumanisation’ policy aims to curb the spread of hate

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Twitter plans to include a new policy on dehumanizing speech, later this year, and the social media company wants to know what you think about it.

The goal is to expand on Twitter’s existing hateful policy to the content that dehumanizes others on the basis of their membership of an identifiable group, even when the material is not understood as a direct goal, say Twitter, Legal, policy, Trust And Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde and vice-president of Trust & Safety Del Harvey.

Twitter the existing policy prohibits threats or direct attacks on other users on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and more. But the enforcement of those rules is not consistent, and Twitter is regularly criticized for the seemingly arbitrary action on the reported tweets.

The company has a number of steps to curb abuse by a prohibition on hateful names, but this would be the first substantive revision of the harassment policy to include in the wide swath of degrading and hateful speech that falls outside the existing enforcement.

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Twitter is inconsistency on this front was evident during the Alex Jones saga. As Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube all banned the Infowars host on hate speech, Twitter has chosen to take no action, a motion CEO Jack Dorsey in the first instance defended. Later, Twitter was shut down a week ban followed by a permanent soon after.

The following Jones fiasco, Harvey tweeted out an internal e-mail to the staff with the message that Twitter was “shifting our timeline forward for the revision of the dehumanization policy.” Eventually, Twitter wants to stop with the platform of the normalisation of violence.

Here is an email I sent to Twitter employees today with more context around our thinking and our policies. pic.twitter.com/GMkDpKgf5S

— Del Harvey (@delbius)
8 August 2018

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

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