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Twitter updates rules against hate speech – includes nationality, ethnicity, and race

This took way too long.

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Image: KnowTechie

Two years ago, Twitter committed to banning hate speech and dehumanizing language. December 2nd, 2020, the company released its latest policy update against hate speech. The previous update was six months ago, and it banned hate speech against disease, disability, and age. The current update bans hate speech against nationality, ethnicity, and race.

Considering the latest rules, Twitter will ask users to delete any tweets that fall in the new hate speech categories. According to the Palo Alto company, they will proactively monitor tweets reported by users and use automation technology to deal with violations of these new rules and the ones established before.  

Civil rights groups such as Color of Change have been trying for years to make tech companies like Twitter and Facebook increase their effort against hate speech. In that regard, Facebook had formally established its policies against hate speech long before Twitter. 

Arisha Hatch, vice president at Color of Change, publicly criticized Twitter for not updating its hate speech rules before the 2020 presidential elections in the US, despite the numerous warnings by civil rights groups about dehumanizing, hate, and violent speech.

Hatch also spoke of Twitter’s lack of transparency related to their algorithms’ efficacy and how it detects hate speech. Furthermore, she asked Twitter to reveal how they train their content moderators. 

Last, she expressed her concern that this effort was too little too late and that all this can end up as nothing but a PR stunt.

Twitter addressed these concerns on their official blog, explaining their approach to hateful speech. Additionally, in the same blog post, they also tried to explain how they have been working closely with a group of third-party experts to deconstruct and understand difficult challenges such as online hate speech.

What do you think? Glad to see Twitter making these changes or is it too little, too late? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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