Twitter is having a hard time in explaining and enforcing its policies regarding hate speech. Earlier this week, the company responded to the retweet of Trump regarding violent anti-Muslim propaganda, informing reporters that some of the videos may remain up if they are deemed to be newsworthy or of public interest. However, Twitter changed that position today, stating that, instead, the tweets that are in question are currently still on the service since they are permitted based on the current media policy of the company.
However, the policy of Twitter against hate speech unquestionably says that “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.”
Today’s media policy tweet references state that “Some forms of graphic violence or adult content may be permitted in Tweets when they are marked as sensitive media. However, you may not include this type of content in live video, or in profile or header images. Additionally, we may sometimes require you to remove media containing excessively graphic violence out of respect for the deceased and their families if we receive a request from their family or an authorized representative.”
The two policies of Twitter are confusing and vague at best, if not completely conflicting. It is certainly not good for a platform that continues to be prepared for abuse, and similar instances happen regularly.