Twitter Curbs Hate Speech, Mutes Alt-Right Accounts

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With public backlash growing, Twitter says it’s taking steps to crack down on hate speech, from making it easier to report alleged incidents on the social media service to educating moderators on what kind of conduct violates the rules, reports USA Today. Twitter users will also gain more control over their experience on Twitter with the ability to mute words and phrases, even entire conversations, if they don’t want to receive notifications about them, said Del Harvey, Twitter’s head of safety. The effort comes as an uptick in biased graffiti, assaults and other incidents have been reported since Donald Trump’s election.

Hours after its announcement, Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the alt-right movement, including that of Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank. The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.S. “This is corporate Stalinism,” Spencer said. Twitter was the platform of choice for Trump and the alt-right political movement that embraced him. The alt-right used social media to spread its cause of white supremacy, operating largely unchecked by social media giants Twitter and Facebook.

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