WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- Twitter has announced a new policy to prevent violent speech on the platform.
- The policy includes a zero-tolerance approach to severe cases of threatening, inciting, glorifying, or expressing desire for violence or harm.
- Twitter will permanently suspend a user’s account in most cases, and temporarily suspend in less severe cases.
Twitter has unveiled a new policy to combat violent speech on the platform, stating that it will not tolerate any form of threatening, inciting, glorifying, or expressing a desire for violence or harm. The new “Violent Speech Policy” aims to prevent the normalization of violent actions and ensure the safety of users. The policy also prohibits threats to damage civilian homes and shelters, as well as infrastructure essential to daily, civic, or business activities.
Twitter plans to permanently suspend a user’s account in most cases when the policy is violated, but may choose to temporarily suspend in less severe cases. The policy does not distinguish between “less severe” and “severe” cases, leaving the decision to Twitter’s discretion. Expressions of violent speech are allowed when there is no clear abusive or violent context, such as during sporting events or when discussing video games.
Additionally, hyperbolic and consensual speech between friends is allowed, as well as certain cases of figures of speech, satire, or artistic expression when expressing a viewpoint instead of promoting violence.
The new policy marks the latest update to the safety policy under the leadership of CEO Elon Musk, who has previously declared himself a “free-speech absolutist.” Twitter has previously updated its hateful speech policy multiple times over the past few years, including a 2018 ban on speech that “dehumanizes” anyone based on identifiable group membership and a 2019 expansion of its harmful conduct policy to prohibit language that dehumanizes others on the basis of various characteristics.
In 2020, Twitter also took steps to block users from inciting violence on the platform during the US presidential election and the subsequent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The company has reiterated its commitment to preventing the spread of violent speech on the platform with this latest policy update.