by Chris White
Twitter will now include a blanket ban on using language that “dehumanizes” people on the basis of their age, the social media platform announced Thursday.
“Today, we are further expanding this rule to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease,” Twitter noted in a blog post announcing the update. The update also forbids users from mocking people who suffer from coronavirus or any other disease.
Twitter provided a handful of examples of tweets that will now be prohibited: “All [Age Groups] are leeches and don’t deserve any support from us” and “People with [Disease] are rats that contaminate everyone around them.”
“If reported, Tweets that break this rule pertaining to age, disease and/or disability, sent before today will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was in place,” Twitter noted.
Twitter also noted that it asked for feedback in 2018 before making its decisions, with the company receiving roughly 8,000 responses over a two-week period that year from people in over 30 countries.
Twitter did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
The move comes after Twitter changed policies in 2019 to forbid people from dehumanizing religious groups after a year-old anti-Semitic tweet from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that began circulating on the platform.
Farrakhan’s 2018 tweet compared the Jewish people to termites, which prompted calls for Twitter to nix either the tweet or Farrakhan himself. Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough told the DCNF at the time “that we started examining this policy last year.”
Farrakhan was banned from Facebook and Instagram in 2019, along with figures like Alex Jones and his outlet, Infowars; Milo Yiannopoulos; Paul Joseph Watson; Laura Loomer; and Paul Nehlen. Those platforms labeled these individuals “dangerous.”
– – –
Chris White is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.