“We’re going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them. Everybody on the leadership team knows this is vital.” – Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, 2015 Memo.
Twitter changed its terms of service agreement; the company is taking a stand against online harassment, hate speech and terrorist threats. Is it effective in combating harassing?
Things You Can’t Say On Twitter
By expanding the “abuse” and “spam” sections, Twitter has crystallized its stance on certain types of controversial speech. From now on, Twitter users (yes; that means you, too):
“[M]ay 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.”
“Threatening or promoting terrorism,” is also now against Twitter’s rules.
Twitter’s terms also forbid you “to silence another user’s voice.” (Cue the cavalry of blog posts about how Twitter is jeopardizing First Amendment rights via its “reverse silencing” policy.)
Not Surprising, But Will It Work?
Twitters user agreement changes aren’t a surprise. Last year, a leaked memo revealed that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was “ashamed” at his company’s response to *trolls*.
So now, only a few questions remain need answering:
- Will these anti-online-harassment efforts make a difference?
- Will Twitter strictly enforce the rules?
- Or, will someone see an opportunity to launch a competing, hate-speech-friendly, 140-character quip board?
Time will eventually reveal the answers. One thing for sure, people need to stop abusing the freedom of speech in the Internet. “Freedom” seems to bring both the good and the bad to the society (at least to the Twitter society.) Be sociable, and do so resposibly.
Kelly Warner Law works with individuals, tech businesses, startups and entrepreneurs who are dealing with Internet-related legal issues. We’re not a huge firm, but we deliver for our clients time and time again. Our personal attention to each case makes all the difference.
(It also doesn’t hurt that one of our partners has a photographic memory – which comes in handy when crafting creative solutions.)
Are you dealing with an irritating – or downright damaging – online situation just like us mentioned above? Considering your legal options? If yes, get in touch. We’ll listen, assess and walk you through several possible resolutions. Call today.
Contrera, J. (2016, January 3). Here’s what you can no longer say on Twitter. Retrieved January 29, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/01/03/heres-what-you-can-no-longer-say-on-twitter/