Twitter Safety rolled out a new policy Tuesday afternoon to tackle the problem of threats and violence on the platform, saying that the company has a zero-tolerance policy toward the offenses.
“We’ve made a few changes to our policies around violent content and similar language,” the company said in a statement. “Today, we’ve officially launched our Violent Speech policy, which prohibits violent threats, wishes of harm, glorification of violence, and incitement of violence.”
“Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach towards Violent Speech, and in most cases, we will suspend any account violating this policy,” the statement added. “For less severe violations, we may require you to delete the content before you can access your account again.”
Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach towards Violent Speech, and in most cases, we will suspend any account violating this policy. For less severe violations, we may require you to delete the content before you can access your account again.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 28, 2023
The company’s new policy explicitly states that users are not allowed to “threaten to inflict physical harm on others, which includes (but is not limited to) threatening to kill, torture, sexually assault, or otherwise hurt someone.”
“This also includes threatening to damage civilian homes and shelters, or infrastructure that is essential to daily, civic, or business activities,” the new policy stated.
The policy also states that users are not allowed to “wish, hope, or express desire for harm,” which includes and is not limited to, “hoping for others to die, suffer illnesses, tragic incidents, or experience other physically harmful consequences.”
“You may not incite, promote, or encourage others to commit acts of violence or harm, which includes (but is not limited to) encouraging others to hurt themselves or inciting others to commit atrocity crimes including crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide,” the policy stated. “This also includes using coded language (often referred to as ‘dog whistles’) to indirectly incite violence.”
The policy also prohibits users from glorifying, praising, and celebrating acts of violence, praising violent entities, and perpetrators who commit crimes.
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The company said that it believes in free speech, including allowing “expressions of violent speech when there is no clear abusive or violent context, such as (but not limited to) hyperbolic and consensual speech between friends, or during discussion of video games and sporting events.”
“We also allow certain cases of figures of speech, satire, or artistic expression when the context is expressing a viewpoint rather than instigating actionable violence or harm,” the policy states. “We make sure to evaluate and understand the context behind the conversation before taking action.”
If users violate the policy, they will in most cases be permanently suspended or, in less severe cases, they will be temporarily locked out of their accounts and the content removed before they can tweet again.