Twitter today updated its policies aimed at moderating and policing “hateful speech aimed at religious groups”. While some people may think that the change is not significant, the updated policy will dramatically change how the platform addresses so-called “hateful” language.
The policy is already active meaning that all new tweets that will be considered hateful by moderators will be removed or shadow-banned.
Twitter also announced that it will apply similar measures to ensure that other “protected groups” receive similar treatment. The new change to Twitter’s policies is a direct result of an initiative announced by the tech giant in 2018.
The company asked their users to help rewrite their policies to ensure that “identifiable groups” are not harmed or dehumanized on the platform. Twitter managed to gather 8,000 recommendations from 30 countries.
Allegedly, the platform used the feedback to create a better policy that will help Twitter protect identifiable groups. The current update applied to the policy is a pilot project, a testing ground for potential changes that Twitter may implement in regards to all other protected groups.
Twitter moderators will react to reports from users who think that certain tweets are dehumanizing religious groups. Moderators will analyze these tweets and remove them if they go against the updated policy. Some curse words associated with protected groups among (“rats”, “viruses”, and “filthy animals”) will be forbidden.
If a user calls members of protected groups these names, their tweets will be removed.
Another important development is that the company will now highlight tweets from public figures and politicians if these tweets go against the policies used by Twitter. If a public figure posts something that violates rules, the tweet will be highlighted by a gray box indicating that the content may be hateful in regards to a protected group.
Twitter has been trying to make its policies stricter in many ways. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, appeared in the Joe Rogan podcast alongside Tim Pool to discuss some of their struggles with speech moderation. The company has been accused of having a liberal bias multiple times before that. The new change to their policies may further increase the influence of their biases.