Because of its poor handling of abuse on the platform, Twitter has been in the headlines for years. Lately, the social media service has been introducing new tools to battle abuse. Today, the Safety team of Twitter published a new version of the rules of Twitter to explain policies for the social media service. It is important to note that basic guidelines and approaches have not changed; this is only Twitter trying to be more clear and transparent and on how it handles abuse on the platform.
The organization updated “The Twitter Rules” to reveal what it takes into account when determining whether or not to suspend an account. In a blog post, the Twitter Safety team listed some of the changes that were made. Updates include additional clarification regarding what Twitter considers to be self-harm, spam, abusive behaviour, and graphic violence/adult content. For abusive behaviour, the team emphasizes that the context of a tweet is critical. On the other hand, self-harm explains how strictly the policy of sharing resources with people that are considering harming themselves is implemented. Moreover, the improvements in handling adult content and spam include explaining what these are more clearly.
It is important to note that these clarifications are only the beginning as the Twitter Safety group is planning on releasing more in-depth descriptions of each of these issues later this month. However, the question is whether these steps will do anything to restrict the widespread abuse on the social media platform. Explaining policies is a smart step. However, if Twitter does not implement its own rules, it is not going to help at all.