Twitter Zeros in on Anti-Religion Hate Speech

This past Tuesday, Twitter unveiled new rules regarding how they’ll be handling ‘hateful conduct’ on the platform.

Twitter regularly seems to be a kind of ‘safe place’ for bullies and this has a lot to do with the platform’s drop in popularity with certain groups. But, oddly enough, hate groups have helped keep Twitter afloat because they were allowed to run rampant for so long. As a result, membership from those wishing to troll exploded.

But Twitter is working toward favoring an anti-harassment policy even if it happens to cost them those troll members:

we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion. 


User Input

Interestingly enough, the change in rules actually has come about based on the recommendations of regular Twitter users. The feedback requests were made last year and the new rules were based on about 8000 responses that Twitter got.

Consistency in Enforcement

Twitter also stated they’d be working towards making their rules more clear. One of the big complaints I’ve seen across my own Twitter feed is that Tweets that seem to be clear harassment regularly go unchecked while others get flagged immediately for minor infractions, or no infraction at all.

Many people raised concerns about our ability to enforce our rules fairly and consistently, so we developed a longer, more in-depth training process with our teams to make sure they were better informed when reviewing reports. For this update it was especially important to spend time reviewing examples of what could potentially go against this rule, due to the shift we outlined earlier.


Is it Really Possible for Twitter to Effectively Police Harassment?

This is probably the biggest question when it comes to Twitter’s new rules. Can they really do it? I have my doubts… not because I don’t think they want to, but because policing hundreds of millions of users with a staff many orders of magnitude smaller is incredibly difficult (and maybe impossible).

That being said, it doesn’t mean they can’t get better. And that’s the real goal – it’ll never be perfect, but it can get a little bit closer.

Featured Image by geralt on Pixabay

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover band, Liquifaction.

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