Hate speech and harassment are a problem for everyone and Twitter is ready to take action.
While Facebook is embroiled in controversy surrounding fake news, Twitter has problems of its own. The social media platform’s main troubles come in the form of the hordes of trolls, bullies and, sometimes, literal Nazis. The company has struggled with how to deal with this problem for some time as it tried to walk a fine line between upholding its principles of free speech while ensuring a safe environment for everyone.
On Friday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the platform to announce that the company would be making some changes to how the platform addresses “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.”
1/ We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years.
— jack (@jack) October 14, 2017
Dorsey’s full comments, courtesy of Tech Crunch, include the following: “We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years. We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough. In 2017 we made it our top priority and made a lot of progress. Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough.”
“We’ve been working intensely over the past few months and focused today on making some critical decisions,” Dorsey continued. “We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them. New rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence. These changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks. More to share next week.”
Dorsey’s tweets were made in response to the WomenBoycottTwitter protest, where a number of people took the day off from the platform in order to protest the platform’s policies regarding harassment of women. Those who organized the protest said that Twitter wasn’t doing enough to handle such harassment.
While the trolls of the Twitter community have gotten more attention in recent years, they have been around since the platform began — in other forms of social media, video games, and anywhere they have a voice. It is an unfortunate fact that the anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in some people.