Twitter’s New Anti-Harassment Rules Leaked

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Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Last week, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey fired off a tweetstorm about some changes Twitter would be making — finally — to curb harassment and abuse on the platform, saying the company had been working on them for the last two years. (For the record, harassment and abuse have been a problem on the platform for … longer than two years.) Dorsey’s tweets followed a 24-hour boycott of Twitter by some groups of women after Rose McGowan’s account was temporarily disabled amid the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal.

“We prioritized this in 2016. We updated our policies and increased the size of our teams. It wasn’t enough,” Dorsey wrote. “In 2017 we made it our top priority and made a lot of progress.” On Tuesday, Wired published a leaked internal email from Twitter’s head of safety policy to the company’s trust-and-safety council members detailing the new rules.

The list includes changes to Twitter’s policies on revenge porn — “non-consensual nudity” — as well as “unwanted sexual advances.” There are also new rules for hate speech, violent images, and “tweets that glorify violence.” Twitter says it will “immediately and permanently suspend any account” found posting content containing nonconsensual nudity, as well as any user who appears to be “intentionally posting said content to harass their target.” The category of “non-consensual nudity” will now include “upskirt imagery, “creep shots,” and “hidden camera content.” For hate speech, Twitter says “hateful imagery and hate symbols” and now “sensitive media,” but didn’t offer any details on how such media would be handled. (To view sensitive media on Twitter, like a triggering or violent news video, users often have to opt in or click to view.)

The email still leaves major questions about how Twitter is going to use its recent role as a springboard for Nazis and other hate groups. “We are still defining the exact scope of what will be covered by this policy. At a high level, we will take enforcement action against organizations that use/have historically used violence as a means to advance their cause,” the email explained in regards to “violent groups.” “More details to come here as well (including insight into the factors we will consider to identify such groups).” So, for now at least, you’re probably better off switching your account settings to trick Twitter into thinking you’re a user in Germany, if you want to avoid Nazi content altogether.

Twitter’s Got New Rules, Let’s Count ‘Em