But it’s been revised either way – here’s a look at the specifics.
First off, Twitter’s new policy states that:
“We have a zero tolerance policy towards violent speech in order to ensure the safety of our users and prevent the normalization of violent actions.”
That extends to violent threats, glorification of violence and ‘wishes of harm’ – though all of these rules have been in place for some time, so there’s no real change in Twitter’s approach, as such.
Though this is different:
“You may not wish, hope, or express desire for harm. This includes (but is not limited to) hoping for others to die, suffer illnesses, tragic incidents, or experience other physically harmful consequences.”
Twitter’s previous rules noted that:
“Making vague or indirect threats, or threatening actions that are unlikely to cause serious or lasting injury are not actionable under this policy.”
So that’s a change, with these types of comments now, at least theoretically, falling foul of Twitter’s rules. But then again, such threats did still come under Twitter’s other abusive behavior policies, depending on their severity, so there’s not really any major update there.
Twitter has, however, added a new note about threats to buildings:
“You may not threaten to inflict physical harm on others, which includes (but is not limited to) threatening to kill, torture, sexually assault, or otherwise hurt someone. This also includes threatening to damage civilian homes and shelters, or infrastructure that is essential to daily, civic, or business activities.”
So making direct threats about blowing up people’s houses is now banned – but again, that likely would have been covered under the previous policy anyway, depending on the context.
As noted, the thing is, it’s not entirely clear why Twitter has updated its rules, and what it’s specifically looking to stamp out with these changes. But it has made some updates to its Violent Speech policy, which, you’d assume, must relate to some specific use cases or examples that they want to cut out.
I don’t know what those are, but it’s another thing to note in your Twitter use.
You can read Twitter’s updated Violent Speech policy here.