Twitter has taken the steps for balancing free speech without also handing a free pass to orchestrated harassment via its platform. According to the announcement, the company is establishing a “Trust & Safety Council”.
The company said today that the Twitter Trust & Safety Council will provide “input on our safety products, policies, and programs”.
“Twitter works with safety advocates, academics, and researchers; grassroots advocacy organizations that rely on Twitter to build movements; and community groups working to prevent abuse,” it adds.
In a blog announcing the move, Patricia Cartes, Twitter’s Head of Global Policy Outreach, writes that a “multi-layered approach” is necessary “to ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter”.
“As we develop products, policies, and programs, our Trust & Safety Council will help us tap into the expertise and input of organizations at the intersection of these issues more efficiently and quickly. In developing the Council, we are taking a global and inclusive approach so that we can hear a diversity of voices from organizations,” she adds.
The Council’s page links to Twitter’s policies, where it notes: “We don’t tolerate violent threats or Tweets that promote violence. We also prohibit content that threatens or promotes violence or terrorism against a person or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age or disability.”
A year ago, Twitter’s then-CEO Dick Costolo wrote an internal memo to staff saying “we suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform”.
This move is definitely a welcome one, but, it still remains to be seen how Twitter is able to get this to work with so many diverse organizations present on its platform. It will be interesting to see the company tapping into the collective wisdom of the organizations and then using the intel to shape up the policies for the council.