In a Friday night tweetstorm, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made a familiar pledge: He’s going to clean up Twitter so users don’t have to deal with abuse or threats or harassment. And it’s going to happen as soon as next week.
“We see voices being silenced on Twitter every day. We’ve been working to counteract this for the past 2 years,” Dorsey tweeted. “Today we saw voices silencing themselves and voices speaking out because we’re *still* not doing enough…We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them.”
Twitter has had an abuse problem for years, especially for female and minority users. Because Twitter allows anonymous accounts, and can’t figure out how to balance free speech with rules around abusive language, issues of abuse and user safety are often considered the company’s biggest problem.
Which brings us back to Friday’s tweetstorm. Dorsey seems bothered by the #WomenBoycottTwitterboycott that took place Friday, when some users protested over the company’s decision to suspend actress Rose McGowan’s account earlier this week. McGowan was speaking out against film producer Harvey Weinstein, who she claims sexually assaulted her.
Twitter said that one of McGowan’s tweets violated Twitter’s terms of service which was why her account was suspended. But many people got upset saying that Twitter was “silencing” someone for speaking out against an alleged sexual abuser.
Dorsey says Twitter plans to create “new rules around: unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence.” The updates will “start rolling out in the next few weeks,” he added.
We asked Twitter for more details on what this all means. We’ll update if we get them.