Social websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow users to freely express themselves over the platforms. But, we often find this freedom of speech is misused by many users. Twitter, one of the most popular websites, has been facing serious issues regarding the same for quite a long time now.
Apparently, Twitter was acclaimed for revolutionary political movements like the Arab Spring. At the same moment, it was easy for the company’s executives to joke about their liberal stance on free speech. But the situation is convoluted when Twitter increasingly plays host to bullies, harassers, Nazis, propaganda-spreading bots, ISIS recruiters, and threats of nuclear war. The content was found to be lethal to the business because it drives people away from the platform.
Twitter, in 2016 started altering its stance on free speech, forming a Trust and Safety Council made up of safety groups, advocates, and researchers to help it address the problem. In spite of all these, sources state that on many occasions, Twitter has failed to punish harassers; these shortcomings make Twitter’s recent missteps quite depressing for the critics.
Reports say that last week Twitter had to disable features regarding actor Rose McGowan’s account at a crucial moment amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal. The company had to take this step because groups of women boycotted the site for a day in protest.
CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday announced rigorous plans to act tough against this situation. He further stated that Twitter is on its way to introducing new rules related to unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorify violence. To gain fast recovery from this issue company is holding daily meetings.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Twitter’s head of safety policy emailed members of its Trust and Safety Council with detailed plans for its new rules. These rules will deal with Twitter’s plans to implement in the coming weeks.
The new plans would be including banning pornography or specific groups like Nazis. On the contrary, they offer expanded features like allowing observers of unwanted sexual advances and victims to report them. The expanded definitions include “creepshots” and hidden camera content under the definition of “nonconsensual nudity.”
Further, to add more security, Twitter had planned to hide hate symbols behind a “sensitive image” warning. In a statement, Twitter said, “Although we planned on sharing these updates later this week, we hope our approach and upcoming changes, as well as our collaboration with the Trust and Safety Council, show how seriously we are rethinking our rules and how quickly we’re moving to update our policies and how we enforce them.”
Finally, we all know that any social website doesn’t want to lose the faith and interest of its users. At the same time, they cannot even hurt sentiments and privacy. Thus, it would be a great lesson for all the other social websites. We hope that Twitter comes out of this soon.