In an effort to make its platform safer for all its users, Twitter has banned dehumanizing speech — and it’s letting users weigh in.
On Tuesday, the company announced in a blog post, that it is expanding its hateful conduct policy and has developed new rules to rid itself of profiles that post “content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target. ”
Twitter defines dehumanizing speech as language that denies other individuals and identifiable groups of human qualities or human nature.
Essentially, calling someone or a group an animal, virus, or genitalia will get you kicked off of the platform.
“Language that makes someone less than human can have repercussions off the service, including normalizing serious violence,” the company said.
Twitter has previously received backlash for allegations of bias when suspending and banning users who violated its behavior policies. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been criticized for overruling the website’s decision to ban conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones, who has vocally denied that the Sandy Hook shootings were real.
Twitter denied claims that Dorsey overruled the decision; however, Jones was given continued access to his account. In September, the platform permanently banned Jones for violating its abusive behavior policies.
Twitter users have until Tuesday, October 9 to answer survey questions through the blog post to provide feedback on the new dehumanization speech policy.