Twitter changes rules again to curb abusive behavior, spam, adult content and self-harm

Twitter will be sharing a revised version of the rules on November 22.

  • Published: November 6, 2017 5:44 PM IST

Twitter has hit the refresh button on its content policy. One of the recent instances of people taking undue advantage of the platform came across through one of Twitter’s outgoing employees who allegedly took down US President Donald Trump’s account for a few minutes on his last day at work. The change to policies comes shortly after that and while keeping the fundamentals the same, it aims to clarify the rules with examples.

One of the major policy changes is to thwart abusive behavior of users towards one another. Twitter states that the context in determining abusive tweets is crucial. In its update, Twitter writes, “We are making it clear that context — including if the behavior is targeted, if a report has been filed and by whom, and if the tweet itself is newsworthy and in the legitimate public interest — is crucial when evaluating abusive behavior and determining appropriate enforcement actions.”

Other changes highlight how the company analyses content which reflects self-harm. Acknowledging the spread of suicidal games such as Blue Whale, which spread through social media, Twitter said it removed any tweets which appeared to encourage or promote such self-harming behavior. The updated policy now clarifies how the rule is strictly enforced. RELATED: Twitter updates policies on graphic violence, spam, self-harm

For spam, Twitter will be focusing on behavioral signals and not the factual accuracy of the information being shared on the platform. Now, this part of the rule comes across as rather vague because social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have always come under the scanner for not doing enough to stop the spread of fake news. The latest change to policy states, “As part of this update, we’re also clarifying that when we review accounts that demonstrate spam-like behavior, we focus on behavioral signals, not the factual accuracy of the information they share.”

Content which is deemed ‘graphic’ or ‘adult’ in nature will also be prohibited on the platform. However, the company will be updating its Help Center page to include examples which will help define which kind of content exactly falls under the labels. ALSO READ: Twitter censors ‘bisexual’ hashtag, apologizes to users

Twitter further notes that these policy changes won’t be the final ones. On November 22, the company will share another version of the rules, which will include new policies around violent groups, hateful imagery, and abusive usernames.

  • Published Date: November 6, 2017 5:44 PM IST