Watch out, trolls: Twitter says these four things will change today

Watch out, trolls: Twitter says these four things will change today
[Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images]

Get ready for a kinder, gentler Twitter. After complaints from Twitter users on all sides of the globe and political spectrum, the social media site is instating new rules today that are meant to transform the site from a neo-Nazi troll-filled cesspool into a kiddie wading pool where everyone is invited to jump in and play.

The company hopes the new rules will reduce “hateful conduct and abusive behavior.” The effort is an expansion of the hateful conduct rules that Twitter already had in place, but targets the nuanced way that trolls have been using the site to harass and abuse other users.

Twitter wants users to brace themselves for a bumpy ride, noting in a blog post, that “in our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes.” Keep that in mind if Twitter suspends your account for tweeting about a world without men or defending yourself against a troll. If it does suspend your account, Twitter claims it is working on a “robust appeals process” to get the innocent back and tweeting as quickly as possible.

Here are four things that Twitter is changing:

  • Hateful user names, display names, and bios can now get you suspended. User names that include “abuse, threats, epithets, racist or sexist tropes, incites fear, or reduces someone to less than human, it will be permanently suspended.” So long @Nazzzzziluvvah420!  Twitter is also hoping to develop internal tools to help identify violating accounts.
  • Hateful imagery can get you suspended. That includes “logos, symbols, or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.”
  • Twitter accounts associated with hate groups or other groups that promote violence–both on and off the platform–can be suspended. Sadly, this does not include military or government entities.
  • Say farewell to content that “glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act.” No more Charles Manson fan accounts, Hitler quote bots, or any other tweets that  “celebrate any violent act in a manner that may inspire others to replicate it or any violence where people were targeted because of their membership in a protected group”.