Twitter revealed new rules on its treatment of hateful speech Saturday, part of new owner Elon Musk’s vow to make the social-media giant a transparent bastion of free expression.
“People will still see slur words in Tweets when they follow an account that uses them,” according to a post from Twitter Safety’s official account. “However, we will not amplify Tweets containing slurs or hate speech, and we will not serve ads adjacent to those Tweets.”
The account explained that blanket removal or suppression of tweets containing hateful comments will not be an option.
“Context matters, and not all occurrences of slur words are used in a hateful way,” the anonymous official posted. “Slur words may be used in counterspeech, reclaimed phrases, and song lyrics, for example.”
The account also posted two charts showing that Twitter keeps daily tabs on the use of English-language slur words — and claimed the stats reveal “a consistent downward trend in true hateful language impressions” on the platform since Musk completed his purchase in October.
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On Thursday, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said he was “demanding action” from Twitter, alleging that hate speech there has increased sharply since the world’s richest man took the reins.
Musk denied the charge — and slapped a “community note” countering Schiff’s allegation on the tweet in which it was made.
Musk’s ongoing “Twitter Files” threads have exposed numerous instances of alleged viewpoint-based censorship at the hands of the platform’s previous leaders.
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