Today, Twitter announced some updated policies against the rising violence against religious minorities around the world. All the hateful conduct rules will include dehumanizing speech against religious groups and will be revised by the Twitter. These updates will be start effecting from today, all the new rules with moderation in practices immediately were enforced. The success of the policy will decide whether a similar standard will be applied to other protected groups of people in the future by Twitter or not. According to the Twitter Safety blog:
“After months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion,”
All the user’s account containing the tweets in which they have used offending language will not be suspended by the twitter because according to the company these accounts were made before Twitter implemented and communicated the policy. But all the previous tweets which will violate the laws and new updates will be deleted and removed from the accounts.
Some organizations around the world are believed to be inspired by hate speech on social media, to some extent and as a result religious minorities have been attacked in hate crimes by these organizations. It is a negative impact of social sites on world as social media has played a key role in spreading hate speech and also provided a platform to untold numbers of extremists. There are many recent examples in more than thousand of people were affected, like murders of Jewish congregants in Pittsburgh or Islamic worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, or attacks by Islamic militants like ISIS. And all of these are some how linked to the social media.
In 2018, the Anti-Defamation League in the U.S. calculated that 37% of Americans had experienced severe online hate and harassment. A recent survey n experiencing harassment online because of the religious affiliation calculated roughly 35% of Muslims and 16% of Jews have experienced this. 28% of Twitter users had also experienced harassment.
Twitter put out a call for people last year to help rewrite its dehumanization policies, and it also initially proposed a policy against some groups which caused dehumanization. All these policies were started after 8,000 responses Twitter received from people located in more than 30 countries around the world.
Its been a long that Twitter has been struggling with different policies to tackle and detect this harassment at a defined scale. This resulted in significant ongoing changes in platform’s moderation policy. Another announcement was also made by the company last month that users will be get notified when tweets posted by prominent political figures will violate the platform’s rules. The company will now place a gray box before the tweet of a world leader if its content will violate the policies. This will be the indication to the users that this tweet contains something harmful.
So from now all the tweets that dehumanize people on the base of their religious believes referring to them as “rats,” “viruses,” and “filthy animals” are now explicitly forbidden by the platform’s rules. A longer, more in-depth training process were developed by the Twitter with teams to ensure they were informed when reviewing reports.