SOCIAL media giant Twitter has updated its rules to prevent hateful conduct, which includes a ban on homophobic or transphobic comments.

Twitter’s Director of Trust and Safety Megan Cristina said in a blog update last week that “protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter”.

[showads ad=MREC] “We’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behaviour and hateful conduct,” she wrote.

“The updated language emphasises that Twitter will not tolerate behaviour intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice.

“As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs – but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.”

Abusive behaviour includes violent threats, harassment, multiple account abuse, private information, self-harm, impersonation and hateful conduct.

Twitter also warns hateful conduct includes promoting “violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease”.

However, according to The Advocate, some confusion has arisen regarding the specific type of language classified as “homophobic”, with reports that “faggot” is not one of them.

Online abuse also needs to be reported first, which Twitter reviews before determining if violation of its policies took place and if it needs to take action as a result.

The social media site stated it will also “not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories”.

Failure to follow the Twitter Rules could lead to the temporary locking and/or permanent suspension of an account or accounts.

For information on reporting online abuse on Twitter, click here.

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