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Twitter updates rules, focusing on curbing hate speech against religious groups

MANILA, Philippines – Twitter on Tuesday, July 9 (July 10, Manila time), announced an update to its rules against hateful conduct, adding "language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion" to the list of things the company will take action against.

Twitter said it will require hateful tweets targeting specific religious groups to be removed.

Included in the announcement was a graphic with examples:

HATEFUL CONTENT. Examples of hateful content targeting religious groups. Screenshot from Twitter Safety blog

HATEFUL CONTENT. Examples of hateful content targeting religious groups.

Screenshot from Twitter Safety blog

It added reported Tweets going against this rule before the July 9 announcement "will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was set."

The company has previously tried to ramp up its efforts to stem the tide of hateful speech on its network, adding and tweaking its policies based on research and feedback, though it must be noted hate speech and the battle to curb it is a longstanding issue with social media's prevalence. (READ: Twitter announces action against politicians' rule-breaking tweets)

Twitter also explained its stance, saying its focus was on narrowing down the language considerations on the category for religious groups, allowing for more consistent enforcement of the rules.

The company also said it "developed a longer, more in-depth training process with our teams" to improve judgment when it came to reviewing users' reports of potential infractions. – Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.

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