Twitter bans Tweets that ‘dehumanise’ religious groups by calling them ‘vermin’

Rob Waugh
Twitter is a social media online service for microblogging and networking, founded in March 21, 2006 (Getty)

Twitter’s ongoing battle against hate speech continued today with a ban on Tweets containing ‘dehumanising’ language against religious groups.

The social media giant is now banning Tweets which liken religious groups to ‘rats’ or ‘maggots’ or suggest they are subhuman.

The new rules come into effect today, and are based on feedback from more than 8,000 people on how to improve its rules last year.

Using responses from people located in more than 30 countries, as well as external experts, Twitter is introducing the changes for posts related to religious groups first, before considering a similar standard for other groups in the future.

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The move is the latest adjustment to clean up conversations on Twitter, after it recently introduced a new policy that could see world leaders and political figures who use Twitter to threaten or abuse others slapped with warning labels on their tweets.

Announced at the end of June, the new policy comes amid complaints that US President Donald Trump has had a free pass from Twitter to attack his enemies in ways they say could lead to violence.

Twitter also recently tidied up its official guidelines in response to feedback, cutting down the word count from about 2,500 to fewer than 600 in a bid to make them easier to understand.

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