Twitter has struggled to maintain viewpoint balance on their platform. Now they want to help root out dehumanizing speech. While they are are private company, they tout being an open platform for people of all views—even the views of conservatives and hunters. Can they finally strike a balance and function more along the lines of their Mission Statement without alienating their users?
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted earlier in September that conservatives who work for him don’t feel safe at the company. Prior to making this statement, Dorsey said his platform doesn’t censor conservatives — despite evidence to the contrary, which was dug out by Vice News.
Here’s what constitutes “dehumanizing” speech in their eyes:
Language that makes someone less than human can have repercussions off the service, including normalizing serious violence. Some of this content falls within our hateful conduct policy(which prohibits the promotion of violence against or direct attacks or threats against other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease), but there are still Tweets many people consider to be abusive, even when they do not break our rules. Better addressing this gap is part of our work to serve a healthy public conversation.
With this change, we want to expand our hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target.
Does this mean they’ll protect conservatives and hunters against dehumanizing speech, who are often the target of violent messages and threats on Twitter, since they belong to identifiable groups? I hope so. I have no opinion for or against them banning blowhard Alex Jones — he routinely violated Twitter rules, so that seems justified. However, if these new rules fail to protect identifiable groups of conservatives and hunters (see the recent attacks leveled against Dana Loesch), it’ll fall flat of their intended goal. Users have until October 9, 2018, at 6am ET to voice their concerns in an online survey.
I hope Twitter will protect conservative and hunting speech on their platform. Our perspectives are important, worthy of being heard, and aren’t dangerous. All speech, Democrat or Republican, should be displayed on Twitter.