Twitter will now remove hate speech targeted at religious groups on its platform, the firm announced today. While some fear criticism of viewpoints and genuine hate speech may be conflated, Twitter has provided clear examples of the kind of content it would be pulling off its platform.
The change comes in response to feedback from users spanning across 30 countries. “Across languages, people believed the proposed change could be improved by providing more details, examples of violations, and explanations for when and how context is considered. We incorporated this feedback when refining this rule, and also made sure that we provided additional detail and clarity across all our rules,” Twitter said on Tuesday, also noting that “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.”
Twitter already has such rules against gender, sexuality and race. It seems natural to extend this to religious minorities especially in places where this forms a basis for state-sanctioned persecution.
The firm will continue to work to ensure that it remains a safe platform to use for members of varying social groups. It will also work to ensure that civility is rewarded and hate speech sanctioned, starting from the top.