There is a really interesting change in Twitter’s online abuse rules, and it really appears as if they could be used to kick conservatives off the social media platform if they are reported by the left.
Yahoo News explains the change:
Twitter Inc has clarified its definition of abusive behaviour that will prompt it to delete accounts, banning “hateful conduct” that promotes violence against specific groups.
The social media company disclosed the changes on Tuesday in a blog post, following rising criticism it was not doing enough to thwart Islamic State’s use of the site for propaganda and recruitment.
“As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs, but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse,” Megan Cristina, director of Trust and Safety, said in the blog.
The new rules do not mention Islamic State or any other group by name.
“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease,” according to the revised rules. (http://bit.ly/1MFueNn)
The company previously used a more generic warning that banned users from threatening or promoting “violence against others.”
Notice that it reports the changes as targeting ISIS, but the wording is SO vague that it could really apply to anyone:
“You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people…”
Clearly, promoting violence is out of line, and threatening others shouldn’t be allowed. But what is a “direct attack”? How do you directly attack someone on Twitter? The only possible interpretation there is that words can be used as an “attack” – how do you define that? A threat or a promotion of violence is pretty clear, but a “direct attack” of words on Twitter is terribly vague….
Expect these rules to be used by the left to stifle speech they don’t like on the right.