Twitter’s New Policies Vow to Combat Online Sexual Harassment and Hate

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announces new changes to Twitter policies to better protect its users from hate speech and sexual harassment. He also said user complaints will be reviewed with more speed.

Dorsey announced the change through a stream of tweets a few days ago.

He emphasizes the lack of action being taken to help those victim to voicelessness.

Although there have been intentions to take action for a couple of years now, Twitter has been holding daily meetings to ensure that the changes are truly coming and these issues are being taken seriously.

A recent Wired report shows the email sent out by Twitter’s head of safety policy to its Trust and Safety Council members. The email consists of details surrounding the new rules.

One of the main aims of these changes is to provide protection for young women who can potentially be victim to harassment — a lot of women and girls have nude photos posted of them non consensually. There will also be action taken to prevent hate speech through the forms of hateful imagery and violent messages.

Twitter says in regards to hate speeches it will,

“take enforcement action against organizations that use/have historically used violence as a means to advance their cause.”

Specific actions being taken in the quest to develop a safer social media platform is to permanently and immediately suspend users identified as posting nude and sexual photos of others without consent. Before this, the poster would only suffer a temporary suspension, akin to those who retweet the post.

There will also be a system in which users who are not involved in these issues can still report what they see. You no longer only have to be directly involved in order to take action against harassment.

Twitter will be taking action to prevent hate speech, hateful imagery, symbols and violence. It will fight against the endorsement of hate and violence. Although current details on the specifications of this aspect of the plan remain vague, more information will be released soon.

Twitter intends to begin the process of implementing the new policies within the next few weeks.

These new policies are coming at a time when these online social platforms need to take stronger action to make sure users feel safe and accepted. With the uprise of revelations against Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo Twitter popularity, sexual harassment has garnered a lot more attention and invoked discussions essential to change. Many users are still victim to intolerance and hate regarding their identities. Recent white supremacist rallies and its online impact are a testament to the influence political and hateful tensions can have on the platform. Violence also continues to exist on the platform, threatening the safety of its users.

These new changes to Twitter policies are a further enforcement of the will to create change in a large platform used worldwide, where many times sexual harassment, hatefulness and violence are not dealt with appropriately. They are the beginning of the steps to user safety.

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Ibnat Islam is a high school student who loves dedicating her time to reading mountains of books, writing, and watching workplace comedies.

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