Perpetrators of violent attacks policy

Overview

April 2022

Twitter Rules: We will remove any accounts maintained by individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, or mass violent attacks, and may also remove Tweets disseminating manifestos or other content produced by perpetrators. 

We want Twitter to be a place where people can find reliable information and express themselves freely and safely without feeling burdened by unhealthy content. In the aftermath of terrorist, violent extremist and mass violent attacks, we know many want to express compassion for victims, condemn the attacks and/or the perpetrators, and discuss how these incidents impact people and their communities. Some might also wish to share manifestos or other similar content produced by the attack’s apparent perpetrator or an accomplice, either to express outrage or condemnation of the perpetrator’s possible motives. 

The violence that these perpetrators engage in, and the rationale they outline in manifestos or other means that normalizes hatred and discrimination, may further jeopardize the physical safety and well-being of those who are targeted, and has the potential to inspire future attacks. Exposure to these materials may also cause harm to those that view them. 

We believe the hateful and discriminatory views promoted in content produced by perpetrators are harmful for society and their dissemination should be limited in order to prevent perpetrators from publicizing their message. As a result we may remove Tweets that include manifestos or other similar material produced by perpetrators, even if the intention behind the Tweet is not abusive. However, if there is a clear and explicit intent to provide additional context and counterspeech, we may consider keeping the Tweet up. 

What is a manifesto?

We define a manifesto as a statement by a perpetrator outlining their motivation, views, or intent to engage in a violent attack. A manifesto can be in the form of a written document, social media post, audio recording, video, external link, or letter or other forms of content. It may be shared in the aftermath, or at any period before a violent attack. A manifesto can be linked to the event through a statement of warning or intent.

Who are the individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, and mass violent attacks?

Violent attacks claimed by a violent organization or by a member of such organizations are covered under our violent organizations policy. We do not require that a person have been confirmed as members of terrorist organizations or other violent groups, nor that they have any official affiliation with any group, organization, or ideology, for us to enforce on content under this aspect of our policies. 

What is in violation of this policy?


Accounts maintained by perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, and mass violent attacks

Under this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts belonging to apparent individual perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, and mass violent attacks.

Manifestos and other content created by perpetrators

We may remove content containing manifestos and other content created by individual perpetrators or their accomplices. Violations can occur via Tweets, Spaces, images, and videos, including live video. Examples of content that we may action under this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Sharing full-length manifestos, regardless of context
  • Sharing excerpts of manifesto(s) with no additional context or counterspeech
  • Sharing external links to a perpetrator’s manifesto with no additional context or counterspeech
  • Sharing any additional content released by a perpetrator with no additional context or counterspeech

Multimedia content, URLs, and hashtags

We may put a sensitive media interstitial over some media. The interstitial places images and videos behind a warning message that needs to be acknowledged before the media can be viewed. Using this feature means that people who don’t want to see sensitive media can avoid it, or make an informed decision before they choose to view it. The types of media we may interstitial include, but are not limited to:

  • Media depicting a perpetrator 
  • Excerpts of the attacker’s manifesto that are shared as part of a news report

We may label URLs linking directly to documents believed to be a manifesto to prevent these URLs from being shared on Twitter.

We may denylist hashtags identifying perpetrators on trends to reduce the visibility of perpetrators’ identities, as well as all hashtags that are used uniquely to surface manifestos.

What is not a violation of this policy?

  • Individuals who engage in violent resistance against those taking direct part in hostilities in an armed conflict.
  • Sharing content related to violent resistance against those taking direct part in hostilities in an armed conflict.
  • Law enforcement personnel who have used force as part of the scope of their official functions that resulted in casualties.
  • Perpetrators of past violent attacks who served their sentence.

While not a violation of this policy, glorifying, inciting or threatening violence against an individual or group of individuals are in violation of other Twitter rules. We will remove content that violates our policies regarding glorification of violence, violent threats, abusive behavior, denial of violent events, violent organizations, sensitive media, or other parts of the Twitter Rules.

Who can report violations of this policy?


Anyone can report potential violations of this policy, whether they have a Twitter account or not. 

What happens if I violate this policy? 


The consequences for violating our violent events policy depends on the severity of the violation. Accounts maintained by perpetrators of terrorist, violent extremist, or mass violent attacks will be permanently suspended. As described above, we may also remove content containing manifestos and other content created by perpetrators or their accomplices. We will not suspend users for sharing manifestos or other similar content created by perpetrators when the intent is non-abusive.

In addition, we will also remove content that violates our policies regarding glorification of violence, violent threats, denial of violent events, violent organizations, sensitive media, or other parts of the Twitter Rules.

Additional resources


Learn more about our range of enforcement options and our approach to policy development and enforcement.

 

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