Rights

New Twitter Policy Targets 'Dehumanising' Posts About Religious Groups

Under the changes, the social network said it would delete offensive posts that compare communities to "maggots" or "rats."


Twitter on Tuesday expanded its hate speech rules to cover “dehumanising language” aimed at religious groups.

In a blog post, the social media platform said the update was based on feedback from thousands of users, adding that it may also roll out similar policies for posts focused on race, gender or sexual orientation at a later date.

Twitter, like Facebook and YouTube, has been heavily criticised for failing to police offensive and hate-fuelled content on its service.

What’s changed?

Twitter already bans hate speech targeting individual religious figures, but the latest change applies specifically to offensive language directed at entire religious groups.

Also read: How Donald Trump’s Tweets Are Influencing Anti-Muslim Sentiments

On its blog, the company listed several examples of posts that would now be deleted, including tweets comparing religious communities to maggots, subhumans, rats, viruses or filthy animals.

Activists want more action

Rights groups said the change doesn’t go far enough, and called on Twitter to expand its hate speech rules to all groups, religious or otherwise.

Rashad Robinson, the president of online racial justice group ‘Color of Change’, said: “Twitter’s failure to ban all forms of dehumanisation immediately casts doubt on the company’s commitment to fully stopping hate on the platform.”

Facebook has a similar policy banning dehumanising speech and attacks on individuals or groups who share characteristics such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation.

YouTube also prohibits content that promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on categories such as age, disability and race.

This article originally appeared on DW.

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