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Twitter takes a new approach by asking Arabic speakers for feedback on a new abuse-related policy

Tuesday, September 25, 2018/ Editor -  

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To ensure it considers global perspectives

Dubai, UAE, September 25, 2018:  The Twitter Rules apply to everyone who uses Twitter. In the past, we’ve created our rules with a rigorous policy development process; it involves in-depth research and partnership with the members of our Trust and Safety Council and other experts to ensure these policies best serve every person on the service. Now, we’re trying something new by asking everyone for feedback on a policy before it’s part of the Twitter Rules.

For the last three months, we have been developing a new policy to address dehumanizing language on Twitter. Language that makes someone less than human can have repercussions off the service, including normalizing serious violence. Some of this content falls within our hateful conduct policy (which prohibits the promotion of violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease), but there are still Tweets many people consider to be abusive, even when they do not break our rules. Better addressing this gap is part of our work to serve a healthy public conversation.

With this change, we want to expand our hateful conduct policy to include content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target. Research shows that dehumanization is associated with offline harm because it makes violence against others feel more acceptable.

We want your feedback to ensure we consider global perspectives and how this policy may impact different communities and cultures. The responses will be anonymous. 

All Arabic speakers are invited to submit their responses via Twitter MENA’s Arabic blog here. It will be available until Tuesday, October 9, at 4:00pm KSA. Once the feedback form has closed, we will continue with our regular process, which passes through a cross-functional working group, including members of our policy development, user research, engineering, and enforcement teams. We will share some of what we learn when we update the Twitter Rules later this year. 

This is part of our singular effort to increase the health of the public conversation on our service and we hope this gives you a better understanding of how new rules are created. We want you to be part of this process. 

The following is the translation of the Arabic survey:
 
Context
Twitter is developing a policy to address dehumanizing language against groups. 
 
Twitter’s Dehumanization Policy
You may not dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm.
 
Definitions:
 
Dehumanization: Language that treats others as less than human. Dehumanization can occur when others are denied of human qualities or when others are denied of human nature (mechanistic dehumanization). Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic).
 
Identifiable group: Any group of people that can be distinguished by their shared characteristics such as their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religious affiliation, age, disability, serious disease, occupation, political beliefs, location, or social practices.
 
  1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate the clarity of the dehumanization policy provided, where 1 is 'Not at all clear' and 5 is 'Extremely Clear.' [RATING SCALE]
  2. How can the dehumanization policy be improved, if at all? (280 character max) [OPEN-END]
  3. Are there examples of speech that contributes to a healthy conversation, but may violate this policy? If so, please provide examples. (280 character max) [OPEN-END]
  4. Is there any additional feedback you’d like to provide about the policy? (280 character max) [OPEN-END]
  5. What is your age?
 Select one
o 13-21
o 21-24
o 25-34
o 35-44
o 45-54
o 55-64
o 65+
o Prefer not to answer
• What is your gender?
Select one
o Male
o Female
o Prefer not to answer
• In what country are you currently located? [DROP-DOWN, COUNTRY LIST]
• What is your Twitter username? (Optional) [TEXT-FIELD]
• If Twitter has additional questions about your response, would you be willing to be contacted via email?
o Yes, my email address is [OPEN END, FORCE]
o No

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