Twitter’s new violent content policy leaves questions on enforcement measures
Twitter has made changes to its rules on violent content under a new strategy.
The Violent Speech policy bans violent threats, wishes of harm, glorification of violence, and incitement of violence, the company announced through its @TwitterSafety page.
“Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach towards Violent Speech, and in most cases, we will suspend any account violating this policy,” the company tweeted. “For less severe violations, we may require you to delete the content before you can access your account again.”
We’ve made a few changes to our policies around violent content and similar language. Today, we’ve officially launched our Violent Speech policy, which prohibits violent threats, wishes of harm, glorification of violence, and incitement of violence. 🧵
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 28, 2023
The platform encourages users to report tweets that violate the policy but says users can petition the process if they believe Twitter made a mistake.
But the guidelines are a little murky.
In an explainer posted on its website, Twitter said users are allowed to express violent speech as long as they don’t include “abusive or violent context.” For example, “consensual speech” in discussions about video games or sports is allowed.
The policy also outlines satire is allowed as long as it’s “expressing a viewpoint.”
It’s unclear how exactly this will be judged, given Elon Musk’s treatment of people expressing their personal views. Late last year, he banned several journalists critical of him from accessing the platform.
The policy says accounts violating the measures will be suspended in most cases. However, it gives grace to activity that might “prompt outrage.”
“We also recognize that conversations regarding certain individuals credibly accused of severe violence may prompt outrage and associated violent speech. In these limited cases, we may take less punitive measures.”