Tell MAMA has repeatedly challenged Twitter on dehumanising, racist, and Islamophobic hate speech on its platform and a new blog, written by Del Harvey, Twitter’s VP for Trust and Safety, may indicate a shift in direction.
The important paragraphs are below:
“Our initial proposal for implementing this, which we were slated to present to staff at the end of the month, focuses on addressing dehumanizing speech – that is, speech that treats or describes others as less than human. We’re focusing on this first for a few reasons, including: academic research has consistently linked dehumanization with violence, (Boris beware after your recent comments about Niqab wearing women being ‘letterboxes’.
“In the history of mass violence, dehumanization consistently precedes acts of violence; dehumanizing hate speech affects not only the direct targets of the speech, but also the wider society that witnesses the speech”.
This may prove to be a significant development but we will watch closely to see if Twitter does indeed make efforts to clamp-down on dehumanising language – be it against individuals or minority groups more broadly.