Lately, the social media platform Twitter had come under fire by its users complaining about online harassment and hateful imagery.
Two weeks ago, Twitter user and engineer Kelly Ellis started a campaign, encouraging others to boycott Twitter for one day in response to the company suspending the account of actress Rose McGowan who tweeted about sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
While Twitter had later restored McGowan’s account, the stated reason of her tweets containing private phone numbers didn’t rest well with some users who claimed that Twitter rules appear to be enforced selectively.
Following the scandal, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had decided to adopt a number of new policies to protect the platform’s users against the promulgation of hateful imagery and speech.
“We hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them,” said Dorsey.
Announced last week, the policy will come into force on 22 November, and will consist of the suspension of accounts belonging to organisations who endorse (or used to endorse) violence to advance their cause, and a ban on hateful imagery and hate symbols in avatars and profile headers.
Twitter will also prohibit the display of non-consensual nudity and provide its users with the option of reporting unwanted sexual advances.
As to what constitutes hateful imagery and symbols, Dorsey said the company is still in the process of “defining the exact scope of what will be covered by this policy”, promising more details to come in the near future.
While the new policies are likely to result in a fair amount of content being removed, the company claims that safety is their priority.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us and will definitely be turning to you all for guidance in the weeks ahead. We will do our best to keep you looped in on our progress,” concluded Dorsey.
Sources: technology.org, cnet.com, cnet.com, cnet.com.