Twitter Inc. Updates Rules To Tackle Abusive Behavior

Twitter Inc. Updates Rules To Tackle Abusive Behavior

Twitter updated its rules regarding revenge porn postings earlier this year, and now the micro-blogging firm is really serious about tackling another similar issue. It is revisiting its rules to make it clear what it deems to be abusive behavior and banned content.

To curb use of Twitter by ISIS

Messages intended to threaten people or promote violence and terrorism are already banned under Twitter’s Abusive Behavior Policy. Its new updated rules include new language for what falls under abusive behavior.

“We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories,” reads a new line added to its existing rules.

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“It is always open to embracing and encouraging different opinions but it will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The change from the micro-blogging firm comes at a time when radical terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have gained a strong presence on the platform. Such groups use the site to spread their messages and communicate with followers.

Encouraging users to participate aggressively

Twitter not only allows users to block or mute accounts that they find to be abusive but also allows them to ask for deletion of offending tweets if they are found to be violating the company’s rules. A user’s account will be locked out altogether if he or she refuses to comply.

Such a change will work in the company’s favor by encouraging users who flag accounts guilty of breaking the rules to report abuse more aggressively, said J. M. Berger, who is a coauthor of a March 2015 Brookings Institute census of ISIS Twitter use. The census found that from September 2014 to December 2014, ISIS operated at least 46,000 accounts.

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