CAIRO: Twitter will prohibit hate speech that targets religious groups with dehumanizing language following feedback from users.
The social media site will update its rules against hateful conduct in response to receiving thousands of feedback messages from Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese users suggesting the platform should expand its policies.
While Twitter already bars hateful language directed at individual religious adherents, Tuesday’s change broadens that rule to forbid likening entire religious groups to subhumans or vermin, the company said.
Twitter took a new approach last year by seeking feedback from across the four languages on updating its hateful conduct policy.
Arabic speakers were invited to submit their responses via Twitter MENA’s Arabic blog.
As a result, the site received more than 8,000 responses in two weeks from people located in more than 30 countries.
Later, months of conversations and feedback from the public led Twitter to expand its rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.
Using this feedback, in addition opinions from experts, Twitter saw there are factors that should be addressed to expanded this rule.
Tweets that break this rule, and were sent before it became effective, will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions.
The company has come under fire — along with fellow social media networks such as Facebook and YouTube — for the prevalence of harassment and offensive language on its service.
The company says it may also ban similar language aimed at other groups such as those defined by gender, race and sexual orientation.