Twitter begins enforcing rules on ‘hateful, abusive’ content

This file photo shows a Twitter sign outside of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP)
Updated 18 December 2017
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Twitter begins enforcing rules on ‘hateful, abusive’ content

WASHINGTON: Twitter said it began enforcing new rules Monday aimed at filtering out “hateful” and “abusive” content on the social network including messages which promote or glorify violence.
The platform has long faced criticism over how it deals with hate groups and content, which led it to remove verification badges from prominent US white nationalists last month.
“Specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people is in violation of our policies,” the new rules state.
Also banned will be any content that “glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act” as well as “hateful imagery” including logos or symbols associated with “hostility and malice” toward specific groups.
Twitter also said it would suspend “accounts that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”
But Twitter said it would not cut off accounts for military or government entities, and would consider exceptions “for groups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution.”
The policies drew criticism last month when it took no action following one of President Donald Trump’s tweets which appeared to threaten violence against North Korea.
Twitter responded with a pledge to review its policy while noting that “newsworthiness” and public interest must be considered in deciding whether to take down a tweet.
The new policy marks the latest effort by social networks to remove content which promotes illegal or abusive activity while remaining open to dissent and controversial topics.
One account that was no longer visible on Twitter was that Britain First leader Jayda Fransen, whose anti-Islam messages were retweeted by Trump, and another leader of the group, Paul Golding.
Twitter declined to comment on any individual accounts and had no immediate information on the number of users impacted by the new enforcement, a spokeswoman said.


Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

Media ministers speak during a meeting in Jeddah on Saturday. AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi
Updated 24 June 2018
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Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

  • More than 13,000 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release
  • The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory

JEDDAH: Media ministers for member states of the coalition for supporting legitimacy in Yemen held their fourth meeting on Saturday to discuss the ways of coordinating efforts and providing media support for coalition countries.

Saudi Minister of Information Awwad Al-Awwad said: “Houthi militias are one of the tools of Iran to threaten the stability of the region, and their ambitions have not stopped at attacking Yemenis and seizing their lands, but they exceeded that to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia by launching more than 152 ballistic missiles intercepted by our air defense forces and prevented from reaching their targets.”
He added: “The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory with its full commitment to the rules of engagement and the protection of civilians and support of the Yemeni people and its legitimate government in resisting the enemy.”
Al-Awwad pointed out that the coalition’s support has not been limited to military operations, but has extended to other economic, security, relief and service aspects, infrastructure development projects, paving roads, rehabilitating ports and increasing their capacity.
Al-Awwad told Arab News that the meeting highlighted the blatant interference of Iran in the region, especially in Yemen, through its support for the Houthi militias.
“Some news agencies transmit news that may not be authenticated,” he said. “We want to tell them that there are reliable sources… that can be consulted. Therefore, news agencies were told to coordinate and publication shall be consolidated.”
He continued: “You are aware of what media stations hostile to the coalition countries and the legitimate government in Yemen are doing to falsify, deceive, fabricate stories, propagate rumors, broadcast distorted information, influence minds and emotions, and downgrade Yemeni army and coalition force success in diplomatic and various fields.
Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said: “The Houthis will not go to peace until their military stalemate is broken and we have no choice but to cut (off) Iran’s arm in Yemen.
“More than 13,000 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Additional Secretary Shafqat Jaleel said: “Pakistan calls for unconditional restoration of the legitimate government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and withdrawal of rebel forces from the territories seized by them, including the capital Sanaa.
“Pakistan contributed $1 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen last year and welcomes the Saudi initiative of providing relief to war victims in Yemen. Pakistan supports all efforts for peace in Yemen and calls for a political settlement, which can ensure lasting peace in the country,” he added.
Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber, chairman of the National Media Council of the UAE, said: “The restoration of the legitimate government … enhances the chances of reaching a peaceful solution and puts pressure on the Houthi militias to sit at the negotiating table and break the deadlock in the political process.”
Bahraini Information Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi stressed that “the security and stability of our Arab region, our identity, our unity and the sovereignty of our country, impose on all our media moral, professional and national responsibilities as a basic weapon and a strategic partner with our armed forces in the face of extremist terrorist organizations and blatant external interference.”
The conference was represented by media ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Sudan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Djibouti, Malaysia, Senegal, Yemen and Pakistan.