On Tuesday, local time, about a half-year-old civil rights activiststood behind a tray full of petitions, gathering outside Twitter’s headquarters to send a loud and familiar message to the social media company: Ban white supremacists who appear on Twitter,media reported. Protesters held signs with yellow warning signs that read, “White supremacist content could incite violence,” “Toxic content could cause harm, ” and so on.
Protesters say they want the hashtag “Stop Racist Twitter”.
While Twitter already has a policy to ban hate, civil rights groups say it’s not enough. This year, calls for white supremacists to be driven out of the platform have grown in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Christchurch, New Zealand. In March, Facebook said it would ban the posting of white nationalist and white separatist content on its platform, forcing Twitter to do the same.
Now, activists have filed a petition with 110,000 signatures urging Twitter to ban white supremacists. The petition is understood to have been launched by Change The Terms, a coalition of 55 civil rights groups. Free Press also released a report Tuesday outlining what supporters want Twitter to make about its policies. Twitter’s definition of incitement to violence is too narrow, the report said, and that because the company’s policy focuses on “direct” attacks it still allows hate acts to exist.
A Twitter spokeswoman highlighted the company’s policy against hate crimes, terrorist groups and violent extremist groups. “As a result of these provisions, we have permanently frozen 186 group accounts, half of which advocate the use of violence against civilians and some form of extreme white supremacist ideology. “
But Jessica Gonzalez, co-founder of Change The Terms, said in an interview that Twitter’s policy on hate behavior was not working well enough. She points out that sites like 8chan, which are full of white supremacists, still have a Twitter account.