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Twitter updates its policies to prohibit racism

Back in July 2019, Twitter updated its platform guidelines to prohibit hate speech against religious groups. Then in March 2020, it once again expanded them to include hateful conduct that dehumanizes people based on age, disability, or disease. Today, the company is banning hate speech that dehumanizes based on race, ethnicity, and national origin.

In a blog post, Twitter has indicated that hate speech based on race, ethnicity, and national origin will be promptly removed from the platform as soon as it is reported. The company will also be using its automated processes to detect and remove content it deems hateful. Repeat offenders who violate this guideline may get their accounts temporarily suspended as well. The firm has posted the following examples of Tweets that it characterizes as hateful conduct based on the expanded policies:

  • All [national origin] are cockroaches who live off of welfare benefits and need to be taken away.
  • People who are [race] are leeches and only good for one thing.
  • [Ethnicity] are mail-order bride scum.
  • There are too many [national origin/race/ethnicity] maggots in our country and they need to leave.

Twitter is also working with third-parties to better understand how it can combat this problem. It says that dehumanizing behavior can lead to real-world violence as well, and as such, the ultimate goal is to keep people safe from hateful behavior globally - both online and offline.

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