Amid accusations that Twitter is unfairly protecting only some people from bullying and threats on its website, the social media website insisted that its policies are equal, president or not.
“We hear the voices who feel that we’re enforcing some policies inconsistently. We agree we must do better, and we are working together inside to do so,” the company said in a statement Saturday.
“Twitter being abused to instill fear, to silence your voice, or to undermine individual safety, is unacceptable.”
The backlash came after Twitter said Friday that “tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed.”
The warning seemingly stemmed from President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization.
But women, people of color, queer people and other minority groups quickly pointed out that Twitter hasn’t taken action when they’re reported similar threats.
“All my death threats from Trump supporters, including ‘You’ll never stop us from killing you, we just found your address, and worse, are still in my DMs if Twitter would like to re-examine them,” Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt tweeted. “It’s a fine policy, but like so many other rules, it only applies to the President.”
“Weeks of death threats and serious threats against my family when I was Children’s Laureate resulted in Twitter doing bugger all about it,” Black author Marjorie Blackman wrote.
“It feels like just yesterday that people were threatening to kill me or telling me to kill myself while I was competing at the Olympic Games,” figure skater Adam Rippon wrote.
“Does this also go for Black and Brown women who have long been and continue to be harassed and threatened with assault and death on this platform or nah? I think no,” producer Ava DuVernay tweeted. “Because I see those same accounts still up. Still causing harm. Your *anyone* is disingenuous.”
Twitter insisted that it’s taken “significant steps” with its automated systems to find abusive tweets and claimed that more than 50% of them are caught without people having to report the attacks.
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