Twit­ter out­lines new user rules to curb hate

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Alexan­dra Olson As­so­ci­ated Press

NEW YORK — Twit­ter has be­gun en­forc­ing stricter poli­cies on vi­o­lent and abu­sive con­tent like hate­ful images or sym­bols, in­clud­ing those at­tached to user pro­files.

The new guide­lines, which were f i rst an­nounced one month ago, were put into place dur­ing the mid­dle of the month.

Mon­i­tors at the com­pany will weigh hate­ful im­agery in the same way they do graphic vi­o­lence and adult con­tent.

If a user wants to post sym­bols or images that might be con­sid­ered hate­ful, the post must be marked “sen­si­tive me­dia.”

Other users would then see a warn­ing that would al­low them to de­cide whether to view the post.

Twit­ter is also pro­hibit- ing users from abus­ing or threat­en­ing others through their pro­files or user­names.

While the new guide­lines be­came of­fi­cial on Dec. 18, the so­cial me­dia com­pany con­tin­ues to work out in­ter­nal mon­i­tor­ing tools and re­vamp­ing of the ap­peals process for banned or sus­pended ac­counts. The com­pany will also be­gin ac­cept­ing re­ports from users.

Users can re­port pro­files, or users that they con­sider to be in vi­o­la­tion of Twit­ter pol­icy. Pre­vi­ously, users could only re­port in­di­vid­ual posts they deemed of­fen­sive.

Now be­ing tar­geted are “lo­gos, sym­bols, or images whose pur­pose is to pro­mote hos­til­ity and mal­ice against others based on their race, re­li­gion, dis­abil­ity, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, or eth­nic­ity/na­tional ori­gin.”

There is no spe­cific list, how­ever, of banned sym­bols or images. The com­pany will re­view com­plaints in­di­vid­u­ally to con­sider the con­text of the post or pro­file, in­clud­ing cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions.

It is also broad­en­ing ex­ist­ing poli­cies in­tended to re­duce threat­en­ing con­tent, to in­clude im­agery that glo­ri­fies or cel­e­brates vi­o­lent acts. That con­tent will be re­moved and re­peat of­fend­ers will be banned.

Be­gin­ning on Dec. 18, the com­pany be­gan ban­ning ac­counts af­fil­i­ated with “or­ga­ni­za­tions that use or pro­mote vi­o­lence against civil­ians to fur­ther their causes.”

While more con­tent is banned, the com­pany has pro­vided more lee­way for it­self af­ter it was crit­i­cized for strict rules that re­sulted in ac­count sus­pen­sions.

There was a back­lash against Twit­ter af­ter it sus- pend­ing the ac­count of ac­tress Rose McGowan who opened a pub­lic cam­paign over sex­ual ha­rass­ment and abuse, specif­i­cally nam­ing Hol­ly­wood mogul Har­vey We­in­stein. Twit­ter even­tu­ally re­in­stated McGowan’s ac­count, stat­ing it had been sus­pended be­cause of a tweet that vi­o­lated its rules on pri­vacy.

“In our ef­forts to be more ag­gres­sive here, we may make some mis­takes and are work­ing on a ro­bust ap­peals process,” Twit­ter re­ported.

Twit­ter re­lies in large part on user re­ports to iden­tify prob­lem­atic ac­counts and con­tent, but the com­pany said it is de­vel­op­ing “in­ter­nal tools” to bol­ster its abil­ity to po­lice con­tent.

Twit­ter also seeks to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tions with users about the de­ci­sions it makes.

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