Twitter is further tightening its restrictions against hateful conduct by announcing that it will remove tweets that dehumanize others on the basis of religion.
This follows an initiative late last year, whereby the company sought feedback from Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese-speaking users on whether and how to update its hateful conduct policy around dehumanization.
In a span of just two weeks, Twitter received more than 8,000 responses from people located in more than 30 countries.
Some of the most consistent feedback the company received included requiring clearer language. People believed that the proposed change could be improved by providing more details, examples of violations, and explanations for when and how context is considered.
Twitter noted this feedback when refining the rule, and also made sure that it provided additional detail and clarity across all its rules.
"If reported, Tweets that break this rule sent before today will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was set," said Twitter in a statement.
According to Twitter, many people raised concerns about the platform's ability to enforce its rules fairly and consistently. In response, Twitter said that it has developed a longer, more in-depth training process with its teams to make sure they are better informed when reviewing reports.
Governments around the world are putting pressure on social media platforms to curb a rising wave of hate speech. In June, Facebook announced that it was able to detect and remove considerably more hate speech than before. Globally, the percentage of hate speech being removed by Facebook increased from 51.5% in Q3 2018 to 65.4% in Q1 2019.
"Hate speech isn’t allowed under our Community Standards. As we shared last year, removing this content requires supplementing user reports with AI that can proactively flag potentially violating posts," said Facebook in a recent blog.
French MPs have this week passed a law to fight online hate speech that will oblige social media networks to remove offending content within 24 hours and create a new button enabling users to flag abuse.