Twitter updated its rules against hateful conduct. In July of 2019, Twitter expanded their rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion. Now, it has further expanded the rules to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of age, disability, or disease.
TechCrunch reported that Twitter’s hateful conduct policy also includes a ban on dehumanizing speech across many categories including race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.
Twitter provided some examples of tweets that would break their rule against hateful conduct:
- [Religious Group] should be punished. We are not doing enough to rid us of those filthy animals.
- All [Age Group] are leaches and don’t deserve any support from us.
- People with [Disability] are subhuman and shouldn’t be seen in public.
- People with [Disease] are rats that contaminate everyone around them.
If you aren’t sure whether or not the thing you are about to tweet breaks Twitter’s hateful conduct use, use the Twitter-provided examples above as a template. If your tweet is similar to those examples, you probably shouldn’t post it.
Twitter will require tweets like these to be removed from Twitter when they’re reported to them. If reported, tweets that break this rule pertaining to age, disease, and/or disability, sent before March 5, 2020, will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in account suspensions. Tweets that break the rule that were posted after March 5, 2020, could result in suspensions.
Personally, I think this is good policy. I remember the experience of using Twitter as being a whole lot nicer when it was launched than it is today. It is entirely possible to talk about age, disability, disease, and/or religion without dehumanizing people. If it’s too hard for you to use Twitter without dehumanizing people – then you shouldn’t be on Twitter anymore.