TWITTER HAS A PROBLEM with trolling in the same way Google has a problem with search. Hate speech, trolling, death threats and the like have become part and parcel of the medium itself. It turns out you can get a lot of unsavoury content into 280 characters if you really push yourself: bravo, humanity.
Twitter now wants to make things a little bit more civil by closing a loophole that certain trolls have used to stay within the rules on a technicality: dehumanising language.
"You may not dehumanise anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm," the policy reads, adding definitions of both "dehumanisation" and "identifiable groups" to avoid any plausible doubt.
"Language that makes someone less than human can have repercussions off the service, including normalising serious violence," writes Vijaya Gadde and Del Harvey from Twitter's ‘Trust and Safety' team.
"We want to expand our hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanises others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target," the post continues.
But rather than dictate changes directly from the top, Twitter is currently seeking feedback on the changes. A survey is open to all Twitter users until 9 October, asking people how clear the new rules are, how they can be improved, what pitfalls there might be, and so on.
One person who theoretically could fall foul of these new rules is the President of the United States, who routinely uses the platform to compare individuals to dogs, and groups to animals.
Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, "Animals." Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories. I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as "Animals," a big difference - and so true. Fake News got it purposely wrong, as usual!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
But given Twitter has pretty much given him carte blanche to carry on tweeting whatever he wants, it's hard to imagine him being caught up in the new rules. Not while he continues to be the ailing service's must-see star attraction, anyway.
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday
Slack attack whacked
Power glitch is thought to be hardware-related