Following criticism that Twitter was not doing enough to thwart the threat of terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS), the social media company has clarified its definition of abusive behaviour that will prompt it to delete accounts and ban hateful comments that promote violence against a group.
"We believe that protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter. Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behaviour and hateful conduct," Megan Cristina, Director at Twitter wrote in a blog post.
According to a report in The Guardian, JM Berger, co-author of a census, found that ISIS had operated at least 46,000 accounts from September to December of last year.
"The new definition is much clearer and takes some of the guesswork out of determining if a tweet violates the rules," Berger told the newspaper.
"We believe in freedom of expression and in speaking truth to power, but..in order to ensure that people feel safe expressing diverse opinions and beliefs, we do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice," the website said before adding:
“You may 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."
The blog also added that Twitter would ensure that it remains a platform for people to express themselves.