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Is Twitter for or against free speech? Their new policy seems innocuous but is it really?

Twitter’s policy, called “Hate content, sensitive topics, and violence,” is here.

The policy states that it applies to “Twitter Ads,” but goes on to explain that these “paid advertising products” include all “Tweets,” as well as “trends and accounts.” The policy is then spelled out in question-and-answer form.

Here is the relevant part:

What’s the policy? Twitter prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally.

Note from the get-go: We are not just talking about the incitement of violence here. Twitter is laying the groundwork to regulate discussions of any topics it deems “sensitive.”

What products or services are subject to this policy? This policy applies, but is not limited, to: Hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.

Note that this prohibition expressly goes beyond “hate speech” (which itself is an absurdly subjective term), additionally banning “advocacy against” people or groups based on, among other things, “religion” (as well as “other protected status” — who knows what that means?).

Twitter has opted to join the campaign to crack down on free expression. And one is left to wonder whether the big Saudi bucks that have come its way are a factor in Twitter’s decision-making.

Source: Islam, Twitter and Free Speech

 

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