Twitter expands hate speech rules to include race and ethnicity

Platform Industry News: Twitter

Twitter has expanded its platform policy on hate speech to include “language that dehumanizes people on the basis of race, ethnicity and national origin,” it has said in a statement.

The company banned language that dehumanizes others based on religion or caste last year and updated the rule in March to include fertility, age and disease to the list of protected groups.

Civil rights activists ‘Color of Change’, a part of a coalition of advocacy organizations which have been pushing tech organizations to reduce hate speech online, called the changes “essential concessions” subsequent years of external pressure.

A Twitter spokeswoman said the company had planned from the start to add new categories to the policy over time following testing to ensure it can always enforce upgraded rules.

In a statement, Color Of Change VP Arisha Hatch criticized Twitter for failing to upgrade the policy before November’s presidential election, despite repeated warnings from the advocacy groups about violent and dehumanizing address.

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Hatch also said Twitter has declined to give transparency into how its content moderators are trained and the effectiveness of its artificial intelligence in identifying content that violates the policy.

“The jury is still out for a company with a spotty track record of policy implementation and enforcing its rules with far-right extremist users,” she said.

“Void of hard evidence the company will follow through, this announcement will fall into a growing category of too little, too late PR stunt offerings.”

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Katie Paul. Editing by Richard Chang Landay. Editing by Steve Orlofsky.

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