Twitter revealed new ways it will stop the rampant hate speech on its platform. According to The Guardian, Twitter aims at stopping the recruitment practices of ISIL/ ISIS with a more precise definition of hateful language. They plan on banning accounts and identifying users who threaten violence towards others.
In a blog post published yesterday, Director of Trust and Safety, Megan Cristina, stated:
“As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs, but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse. You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease.”
This year has proven to be a tough one for the company because of its various issues with diversity and inclusivity. During the fall, Leslie Miley was the company’s only Black engineer in a lead role and he was laid off during October’s round of job cuts. On Medium, Miley highlighted the company’s lack of diversity on all levels, especially management. He noted that African-Americans and Hispanics use Twitter the most but the company’s workforce is only 1 percent Black and 3 percent Hispanic. Worldwide, only 13 percent of its workers were women.
While the new measures to make Twitter safer are a step in the right direction, the company’s new head of diversity is not. This week, Twitter also announced that their VP of Diversity & Inclusion will be Jeffrey Siminoff.
"Our last VP of Diversity was blonde, white & a woman. How can we do better?" … "Perfect! Yes, this looks good." https://t.co/KjakXKaGQG
— Lauren W. (@iamlaurenp) December 29, 2015
Twitter's new VP of Diversity is a middle aged white man. You had one job, twitter.
— Michele (@inthefade) December 29, 2015
This particular hire did not go well with Twitter users. Although Siminoff has had the same position at other high profile companies like Apple and Morgan Stanley, his hiring goes contrary to the needs of the company. The company needs more people of color and women.
It appears that Twitter will likely have very similar issues with diversity going into the new year because it fails to hire the people who use the platform the most.