"In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process," the company acknowledged in a blog post Monday announcing the start of its enforcement of stricter hate speech policies. Specifically, Twitter now bars users who take to the platform to "promote violence against civilians to further their causes," as well as those who glorify such violence. The rules also bar attacking people "on the basis of their group characteristics" and using Twitter to harass people into silence. Twitter wasn't joking. By the end of the day Monday, the removal of accounts belonging to white nationalist and far-right extremists started to rack up. While Twitter isn't keeping a public list of its expulsion efforts, here's a (non-comprehensive, as the account removals are ongoing) list of newly suspended accounts as a result of Twitter's recent clean-up efforts:
George Zimmerman has threatened to physically assault Jay-Z over the docuseries the hip-hop star is producing about Trayvon Martin, 17-year-old Zimmerman shot and killed. As HuffPost reports, Zimmerman said the production team for the series "harassed" his family, and showed up to his parents' house and uncle's house unannounced to get them to participate in the show. He also claims, the crew trespassed, and that he will "beat Jay-Z" and "anyone who ***** with my parents will be fed to an alligator." "What I said is I would beat him as if I was Solange, and he would find himself coming out of the south side of a gator if he comes to Florida and bothers my family," Zimmerman told the Orlando Sentinel.
Columbia, South Carolina, has become the first city to pass legislation prohibiting use of bump stocks -- gun accessories like those used by Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock to increase firing rates to quasi-automatic speed. After this fall's mass shootings, regulation of the deadly add-ons has fallen to local governments in the wake of congressional stagnation on the issue. "It's time for the good guys with guns to begin to pass some really good policy," said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, a Democrat and a gun owner, in an interview with Reuters. At a Dec. 5 meeting, the four Columbia City Council members in attendance unanimously and without discussion voted for the measure after a first reading. It passed a required second vote Tuesday by a unanimous vote of the full council. The ordinance doesn't explicitly ban the sale or ownership of bump stocks, but it does prohibit civilians from possessing a gun with a bump stock or a trigger crank attached.
More than 270 guns were turned in during a weapons buyback event in San Francisco Saturday. The buyback was held on Howard Street in the South of Market area, where police collected handguns, shotguns, high-powered rifles, and even an AT4 anti-tank weapon. Community leader Rudy Corpuz Jr., with United Playaz, said San Francisco took a big step toward being less violent. "We got a bazooka off the streets. We got a cannon ball off the streets. We got assault rifles. We got everything that you can name that could destroy a whole universe and we get rid of them within hours," he told ABC7 News. Buyback organizers added that the event succeeded because of its "no questions asked" policy for people who surrender guns. read more
Trump continually asserts that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary. When the nation's commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem. For this reason, we name Trump's claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017.