Twitter is taking on cases of “harassment” against recently fired journalists, the website confirmed to Fox News on Monday, after many users reached out to the reporters with the message, “learn to code.”
Initially, The Wrap’s media editor Jon Levine said a Twitter spokesperson told him that using the phrase toward the newly unemployed journalists would be seen as “abusive behavior” and a “violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service.” That claim sparked backlash on social media and suggestions the website was engaging in a double-standard.
BuzzFeed News and The Huffington Post laid off dozens of journalists last week.
Twitter critics argued the response would be markedly different from its treatment of Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan’s tweet which compared people of the Jewish faith to “termites.” Twitter had indicated last year it would not suspend Farrakhan despite his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Twitter later issued a statement clarifying its position.
“Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals — a policy that’s long been against the Twitter Rules,” a spokesperson stated.
Levine, however, accused Twitter of “backing away” from what a spokesperson originally told him.
Regarding Farrakhan’s “termites” tweet, Twitter introduced a “dehumanization policy” last fall that would forbid users from dehumanizing anyone “based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm.”
However, that policy has not yet taken effect. The social media giant told Fox News that more information about the dehumanization policy will be shared in the coming weeks.
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