The new policy states that Twitter will suspend accounts that post violent threats on the platform, while Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky gets closer to a public release.
Twitter has released an updated policy about violent content, adopting a “zero-tolerance approach” that will suspend any violating accounts.
The new policy states that Twitter will suspend accounts that post violent threats, wishes of harm, glorification of violence and incitement of violence on the platform.
The Twitter Safety account tweeted that in “less severe violations”, users may have to delete the comment that was deemed in breach of this policy before they can access their account again.
Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach towards Violent Speech, and in most cases, we will suspend any account violating this policy. For less severe violations, we may require you to delete the content before you can access your account again.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) February 28, 2023
“Twitter is a place where people can express themselves, learn about what’s happening, and debate global issues,” the company said in a policy overview post. “However, healthy conversations can’t thrive when violent speech is used to deliver a message.”
The company’s mentioned some examples where violent speech won’t be in violation of the policy, such as satire and artistic expression when the context is “expressing a viewpoint rather than instigating actionable violence or harm”.
The new policy marks a change in direction since Elon Musk took ownership of the company last October. The billionaire previously spoke about his aim to make Twitter a haven of free speech, and shared plans last year to offer “amnesty” to suspended accounts on Twitter.
But last November, the European Commission threatened Musk with a ban for Twitter, unless the company follows strict content moderation rules.
US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen also hinted last year that Musk’s purchase of Twitter could be investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.
Bluesky goes to beta
Meanwhile, the Jack Dorsey-backed social media app, Bluesky, has launched on Apple’s App Store in an private beta.
The decentralised platform was first announced by Dorsey in 2019, initially as a Twitter-supported project designed to fix the biggest challenges impacting social media platforms.
The platform describes itself as a “federated social network” that runs many sites instead of a single centralised site. This is similar to Mastodon, the counter-app to Twitter that saw a rise in popularity last year.
Bluesky is currently available for download, but users need an invite code to create an account. The beta is the first step forward in a while, giving hope to the idea that a public release is getting closer to reality.
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