Twitter has announced an expansion of its hate speech policy, banning “dehumanizing language towards religious groups.”
“This is just the first step,” the social-media giant said in a statement Tuesday. “Over time we’ll expand the policy to include more groups and update you along the way.”
The Gateway Pundit noted the move comes as Muslim nations and leaders continues to campaign for a global ban on speech critical of Islam.
Twitter said in a statement its rules are created “to keep people safe on Twitter, and they continuously evolve to reflect the realities of the world we operate within.”
“Our primary focus is on addressing the risks of offline harm, and research shows that dehumanizing language increases that risk,” Twitter said. “As a result, after months of conversations and feedback from the public, external experts and our own teams, we’re expanding our rules against hateful conduct to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.”
Among the examples Twitter provided of tweets that would be banned:
- “We need to exterminate the rats. The [Religious Group] are disgusting.”
- “We don’t want more [Religious Group] in our country. Enough is enough with those MAGGOTS!”
Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer commented that the “social media giants continue to move to shut down all speech that dissents from the Leftist, globalist, socialist agenda.”
He said the examples that Twitter gives of “dehumanizing” speech it will ban are not arguable.
“But Twitter is almost certainly not going to stop there,” he warned.
Spencer pointed out that Twitter already notifies people when their tweets violate the blasphemy laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
“The next step will be to ban people for honest analysis of the motivating ideology behind jihad violence and Sharia oppression,” he wrote. “Soon Twitter will be entirely Sharia-compliant.”
Twitter said that beginning July 9, it required tweets such as the ones it provided to be deleted.
“If reported, Tweets that break this rule sent before today will need to be deleted, but will not directly result in any account suspensions because they were Tweeted before the rule was set,” the company said.
Why is Twitter enforcing Islamic law?
WND reported in February, Twitter informed conservative journalist Michelle Malkin that her 2015 tweet of cartoons of Islam’s prophet Muhammad violated Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, which are punishable by death.
Malkin said wrote to Twitter’s legal and media relations departments “seeking answers and comment on why American citizens who use their service are now subject to Pakistan’s oppressive anti-blasphemy laws.”
She’s received no response.
In an email to Twitter, Malkin stated she’s an American citizen “who rejects sharia law” and she “never agreed to any terms of service limiting tweets” on her “American law-abiding opinions of sharia and Islam” when she signed up for Twitter.
“I would like to know who or what government agency, private organization or individual complained about my tweet, when they did so, and what criteria you will use to decide whether to take any action on the reported content,” she wrote.
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 9, 2015
Section 295B of Pakistan’s criminal code criminalizes “defiling the Holy Quran” and carries a penalty of life imprisonment.
It mandates that those who “by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation innuendo, or insinuation, directly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable for fine.”
Blogger and author Pamela Geller received the same warning from Twitter after she criticized Muslim social and political activist Linda Sarsour.
WND reported in January that Twitter informed the author of a book analyzing the minds of Islamic terrorists that he was at risk of violating the Muslim-majority nation’s notorious statute.
“It’s just absolutely surreal and Kafkaesque that a social-media giant in the free world is trying to enforce blasphemy laws — or, for now, carrying the message,” said Jamie Glazov, the author of “Jihadist Psychopath.”
It was a tweet promoting his book that drew the complaint. Twitter then informed Glazov of the complaint and suggested he hire a lawyer.
Referring to the Pakistani Christian who was jailed for a decade on blasphemy charges, Glazov said Twitter “basically is “saying it’s on the side of those masses in Pakistan rioting on the streets that want the blood of Asia Bibi.”
Glazov received the notice from Twitter on Dec. 22. He said he has heard nothing from Twitter since then.
We are writing to inform you that Twitter has received official correspondence regarding your Twitter account, @JamieGlazov.
The correspondence claims that the following content is in violation of Pakistan law:Section 37 of PECA-2016, Section 295 B and Section 295 C of the Pakistan penal code
Twitter has not taken any action on the reported content at this time. We are only writing to inform you that content posted to your account has been mentioned in a complaint.
This notice is not legal advice. You may wish to consult legal counsel about this matter. If you believe we have contacted you in error, please let us know by replying to this email.
For more general information on legal requests, please refer to the following Help Center article: https://t.co/lrfaq.
And Twitter notified Canadian columnist Anthony Furey and reformist imam Mohammed Tawhidi that they have violated Pakistani law.