Twitter bans 'dehumanizing' posts toward religious groups

Twitter will update its rules against hateful conduct in response to receiving thousands of feedback from Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese users suggesting the platform should expand its policies. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 09 July 2019

Twitter bans 'dehumanizing' posts toward religious groups

CAIRO: Twitter will prohibit hate speech that targets religious groups with dehumanizing language following feedback from users.

The social media site will update its rules against hateful conduct in response to receiving thousands of feedback messages from Arabic, English, Spanish and Japanese users  suggesting the platform should expand its policies.

While Twitter already bars hateful language directed at individual religious adherents, Tuesday’s change broadens that rule to forbid likening entire religious groups to subhumans or vermin, the company said.

Twitter took a new approach last year by seeking feedback from across the four languages on updating its hateful conduct policy.

Arabic speakers were invited to submit their responses via Twitter MENA’s Arabic blog.

As a result, the site received more than 8,000 responses in two weeks from people located in more than 30 countries.

Later, months of conversations and feedback from the public led Twitter to expand its rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.

Using this feedback, in addition opinions from experts, Twitter saw there are factors that should be addressed to expanded this rule.

Tweets that break this rule, and were sent before it became effective, will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions.

The company has come under fire — along with fellow social media networks such as Facebook and YouTube — for the prevalence of harassment and offensive language on its service.

The company says it may also ban similar language aimed at other groups such as those defined by gender, race and sexual orientation.

Muslim World League chief urges media outlets to stick to impartiality

MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2019

Muslim World League chief urges media outlets to stick to impartiality

  • MWL chief meets government, religious leaders in Utah

UTAH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, has arrived in Utah, US, where he was received by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Al-Issa and Herbert met to discuss cooperation and issues of common interest to achieve shared objectives.
Al-Issa also visited the Mormon church in Utah, where he met the leader of the group and discussed ways to promote harmony among followers of different religions and cultures.
The Mormon leader and his assistants hosted a dinner for Al-Issa, in the presence of Utah government members and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Muslim diaspora.  
Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles extended his thanks to Al-Issa. “On behalf of our church and the state of Utah, I would like to thank you for your inspiring words calling to promote rapprochement among followers of different religions and cultures and combat hate speech and violent extremism,” he said.
Al-Issa took part in a Deseret News editorial board meeting in Utah, during which he reiterated the need to support rapprochement between nations and peoples and break the barriers built by distance, lack of dialogue and understanding, and false information spread by unreliable sources.
He also spoke about the need to promote moral values such as justice, tolerance and humanitarian work and support the efforts to achieve peace and harmony, especially in multi-religious, cultural and ethnic countries as well as promoting awareness about tolerance and acceptance of diversity and differences.
Al-Issa reviewed the Makkah Document that has achieved, for the first time in Islamic history, consensus among 27 sects and confessions, represented by more than 1,200 Muftis and Muslim scholars. The board praised the document and its importance.
He said that Islam was a tolerant religion that promotes justice, love and respect of diversity, stressing the importance of the media’s role in creating content and influencing public opinion.
Al-Issa urged media outlets to stick to the truth and impartiality to avoid losing credibility and compromising their mission.  
On another note, Al-Issa shed light on the Mormons’ experience in humanitarian work, citing the factories and facilities that have been established to provide food, clothes and furniture for the needy in the US.
Al-Issa was invited to visit the University of Utah, where he met its President Kevin Worthen and gave a lecture in the presence of hundreds of students and professors.
Al-Issa said that MWL’s message focused on building bridges and breaking down barriers caused by a lack of dialogue and false information, noting that all followers of religion, cultures and civilizations shared the same moral values that promote justice and harmony.