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Twitter bans hateful conduct around age, disease and disability

Tweets that break the rule will be deleted.


Twitter is banning content that "dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease."

Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter on Thursday said it's expanding its rules against hateful conduct to include "language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." Tweets that go against the new rule will be removed from the site. 

Any violating tweets sent before today will also need to be deleted if they're reported, but they won't "directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was in place," Twitter said. 

Last year, Twitter updated its rules against hateful conduct to ban language that "dehumanizes" people because of their religion.

Change the Terms, a coalition of several civil rights groups tackling online hate, said Twitter needs to do more by expanding the policy to content that's dehumanizing on the basis of other factors like race and ethnicity. 

"This policy update falls far short of protecting all users and the public," Jessica J. González, co-founder of Change the Terms, said in a statement. "Twitter must expand its hateful conduct policies to protect people of color and prohibit language that dehumanizes people based on their race, ethnicity, or immigration status. Hate, vitriol, and white supremacy poison Twitter, and make it a toxic place for women, people of color, and other diverse communities frequently attacked and targeted with hate."

In a tweet, the social media company said it's "continuing to research and partner with a global working group of outside experts to address additional protected categories."

Twitter, along with other sites like Facebook and Instagram, has grappled with hate speech and misinformation on its platform. It has banned controversial figures like Tommy Robinson, founder of the far-right English Defence League, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.