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Tweets using offensive words now banned

Twitter has expanded its rules against hateful conduct to include language that "dehumanises" people based on religion.

The social media company announced the change in a blog post, saying it follows months of conversations and feedback from the public, experts and its own teams.

Starting immediately, tweets in which religious groups are compared with things like maggots, rats and viruses or that are otherwise offensive will be deleted when they are reported, Twitter said.

Tweeting that a religious group "should be punished" or a sentence such as "We are not doing enough to rid us of those filthy animals," were examples of the type of language that must be deleted.

Offending tweets that were sent previously also must be deleted, if reported, Twitter said.

Twitter started its expansion of rules against hateful conduct with religious groups because last year when it asked for feedback to ensure it considered a wide range of perspectives, it received more than 8,000 responses from people in more than 30 countries.

Among the most consistent feedback it received were requests for clearer language, a more narrow definition of what is considered offensive and consistent enforcement.

Twitter said it incorporated the feedback when refining its rules.

It also said there are additional factors it must understand before expanding rules to address language directed at other protected groups.

© DPA 2019