Twitter to ban dehumanizing remarks based on age, disability, diseases
In a bid to curb cases of online hate, Twitter has taken the step to ban the dehumanization of users on the basis of their age, disability, or disease. The move from the company comes as an update to hate speech policy it already has in place to ban posts harassing people from different protected groups. Here's all about it.
According to Twitter's update, if a person shares a tweet that dehumanizes another user, meaning treats them as less than humans, due to their age group, disease, or disability then that post will be banned from the platform. The demeaning post would first have to be reported to Twitter, following which the company will look into the matter and get it removed.
Twitter notes that all age/disease-based dehumanizing remarks will come under its updated hateful conduct policy, which includes rules for violent threats and can result in the suspension of an account if it's frequently engaged in abusive behavior. However, the company claims it won't be carrying out suspensions for older posts violating this policy; they would only be removed from the platform when reported.
Notably, Twitter's ban on dehumanizing speech debuted in September 2018, with initial rules restricting posts against specific protected groups like different genders and races. The company invited public feedback on the regulations, which resulted in users describing the policy as too broad. This led Twitter to make some amendments and introduce more specific post restrictions, including the ones announced now.
Prior to this, the last change the microblogging giant had introduced into its hate speech policy was in July when it banned the dehumanization of users on the basis of their religion.
Twitter's update to ban dehumanizing remarks based on diseases also comes at a time when people continue to express their point of view on the novel COVID-19 disease spreading from Wuhan, China. While most of the comments have revolved around concerns over the disease, some have been making hateful and racist remarks on those suffering from it or belonging to its origin country.