Twitter is cracking down on hateful language that dehumanizes users based on age, disability, or disease.
The latter, of course, is a timely addition amidst the spread of COVID-19, which has inspired malicious and racist remarks.
Tweets that break this new rule but were posted before Thursday will need to be deleted, but won’t result in account suspension. Moving forward, however, perpetrators can expect the full punishment.
This move comes eight months after the social network banned bullying on the basis of religion.
“We are continuing to learn as we expand to additional categories,” according to the Twitter Safety blog. “We also realize we don’t have all the answers.”
Which is why the company developed a global panel of experts to “help us think about how we should address dehumanizing speech around more complex categories like race, ethnicity, and national origin.”
“This group,” Twitter said, “will help us understand the tricky nuances, important regional and historical context, and ultimately help us answer questions.”
Social media can be a scary place for anyone who isn’t a straight white man.
Early this year, Twitter announced it’s testing a new feature that allows users to set limits on who can reply to their tweets—another step toward curbing online abuse.
Distracting, irrelevant, and offensive comments can quickly derail important discussions. But don’t get mad, get even—by burying unwanted remarks using Twitter’s option to hide replies.
The function is available globally on iOS, Android, Twitter Lite, and twitter.com.
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