BuzzFeed News


These Are Twitter's New Rules For Preventing Abuse And Harassment

Twitter just updated its policies on abusive behavior, self-harm, spam, graphic violence, and adult content.

Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images

After years of inaction and criticism from users, activist groups, and former employees, Twitter is updating its rules and clarifying policies on abusive behavior, self-harm, spam, graphic violence, and adult content.

The social network has been plagued by harassment, hate speech, and trolling for a decade. Adding more detail and clarity to its rules comes weeks after CEO Jack Dorsey’s October announcement that the company would be “more aggressive” about preventing harassment after women around the world staged a 24-hour boycott of the social media platform.

"We have worked on this clarified version of our rules for the past few months to ensure it takes into account the latest trends in online behavior, considers different cultural and social contexts, and properly sets expectations around what’s allowed on Twitter," Twitter said in a blog post Friday.

The company detailed its updated rules on its website, but here are the highlights:

Twitter’s new rules are baby steps toward fixing harassment and abuse on its platform, but the company is still in murky territory. It has, for instance, been notoriously inconsistent when it comes to enforcing rules, and has often made arbitrary decisions while providing no explanation.

Twitter said that it will share more details about how the company will review and enforce the new policies in a separate update on Nov. 14, and on Nov. 22, it will share more rules for violent groups, hateful imagery, and abusive usernames.


This post has been updated to make it clear that Twitter's update merely adds clarity to existing rules. The rules themselves remain unchanged.

Pranav Dixit is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Delhi.

Contact Pranav Dixit at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.


Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Facebook Share on System Share on System System