Elon Musk has tweeted that, “Twitter rules will evolve over time”, though he added that the rules remain unchanged for now. Musk’s tweet included a link to the Twitter community guidelines. Twitter’s new owner has in the past talked about how the platform will get a new moderation council with diverse viewpoints which will ultimately decide how content moderation takes place on the platform. This council will also decide who is allowed to return to the platform.
The billionaire’s tweet is interesting given there has been a growing worry about how content will be moderated on the platform after his takeover. Musk himself tweeted that many advertisers had suspended advertising on the platform due to concerns over platform policy. He has also denied that the platform has seen an increase in hate speech over the past two weeks.
The recent layoffs also raised concerns over how Twitter would manage content moderation. But Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, posted that while the company had restricted access to content moderation tools for some team members, “more than 80% of our incoming content moderation volume was completely unaffected by this access change.” He added in a thread that “the daily volume of moderation actions we take stayed steady through this period.”
Read more: Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover and hateful conduct surge: How the company is tackling this
Check out Elon Musk’s tweet below
Twitter rules will evolve over time, but they’re currently the following: https://t.co/Ut1tXuefso
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
What do Twitter’s rules say for now
The platform will crack down on hateful conduct on the basis of religion, national origin, sexual orientation and disability among other things. Such content is not allowed on the platform. Also, perpetrators of violent attacks and those encouraging suicide, self-harm, adult content and media graphic violence will be removed.
Twitter also says that it will not tolerate violence against any individual or group of people, terrorism or violent extremism, child sexual exploitation or abuse and harassment of any kind, including ‘wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.’
The rules also state accounts that publish or post other people’s private information such as home phone number or address or intimate photos or videos without their consent will be removed too.
Authenticity is another important area that Elon Musk has focused on after acquiring Twitter. According to the current Twitter rules, users may not use the platform for the ‘purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.’
While Musk may call himself a ‘free speech absolutist’, comedian Kathy Griffin’s account was swiftly suspended after she changed her profile name to Elon Musk without specifying ‘parody’. Musk has said that verified accounts which impersonate others will find themselves suspended unless they add the description of ‘parody’ to their account.
Earlier, Twitter would warn users before suspending accounts, but it would appear that if you impersonate someone else without specifying that it is a parody, the account will be suspended straight-up. This is Twitter’s most severe penalty for any account and a user is then effectively banned from the platform. Based on Musk’s tweets, it is safe to infer that accounts impersonating individuals, groups and organisations will be removed and banned permanently.