Not done with blocking and suspending Alex Jones and Infowars from using its microblogging platforms, Twitter is again wielding the big stick. The social media behemoth has removed tons of accounts affiliated with Infowars and Alex Jones, CNN reports.
A Twitter spokesperson told the cable news giant that it has permanently suspended 18 accounts that have a thing or two to do with Infowars and Alex Jones. Recall that those two accounts were suspended a few weeks back for allegedly spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. Fives accounts, according to Twitter were earlier removed; bringing the number to 23 in all.
The suspended affiliated accounts were apparently helping Infowars and Alex Jones to get around the ban, which obviously did not go down well with the microblogging company.
Just last month, Twitter kicked out Alex Jones from its platform—following on the heels of similar moves made by Apple, Facebook and YouTube. Twitter’s decision to ban Alex Jones and Infowars from its platform is a permanent one, and nothing suggests that the company will change its mind per the 23 affiliate accounts banned so far.
Also in September, Apple removed Infowars from the Apple Store for violating the store’s guidelines. All attempts to search for the app on the Apple Store did not yield any result as at last Friday.
A closer look at the first clause of the Apple Store guidelines gives a clearer indication as to why the app was removed and may never return. The clause reads that “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way.”
Prior to Apple’s action, Alex Jones’s personal accounts on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest had been permanently suspended.
A few weeks ago, Twitter updated its policy to accommodate some new changes. The policy has now been expanded to prohibit what the company calls “dehumanizing speech.” Trolls and mischief makers capitalize on loopholes—without targeting anyone in particular, they post hate speech that can be degrading. The update, according to Twitter, is aimed at dealing with such posts.
The policy has now been properly fine-tuned to address comments and content that can affect the moral values of other users. “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,” Twitter said in a blog post
Just to be clear on what its new policy on dehumanizing speech is all about, the microblogging company gave a definition in the following statement:
“Dehumanization: Language that treats others as less than human. Dehumanization can occur when others are denied of human qualities (animalistic dehumanization) or when others are denied of their human nature (mechanistic dehumanization). Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic).”