Policies, Terms of Services and other rules that are required to be followed by users of online services can be extremely long.
While in fact that less to no people really care about reading them all before registering to an online service, Twitter thinks that it needs to make its Rules at least clearer in its hopes to fix its underlying abuse problems that plagued its platform for years.
The social microblogging platform has updated, reorganized, and shortened its regulations to make them clearer for users to understand what is and isn’t acceptable on the service.
“We’ve gone from about 2,500 words to under 600. In 280 characters or less, each rule clearly describes exactly what is not allowed on Twitter,” wrote Del Harvey, Twitter’s VP of trust and safety, in a blog post announcing the changes.
While the rules are shortened tremendously, Twitter also introduced high-level categories like safety, privacy and authenticity are linked to separate pages that go into more details, citing scenarios where users might potentially violate each of those policies.
When people first sign up for an online service, they are often confronted with super-long Policies and Terms of Service agreements they need to follow.
These can be daunting to look at, let alone reading them.
Not only they are they written in dense, jargon-filled legalese, they are also often deliberately confusing and difficult to understand.
People that want to be users of an online service, in this case Twitter, should agree to them first, before signing up. But unfortunately, rarely do people care about reading long terms, as most of those people sign up to Twitter without really knowing what they’re agreeing to.
This can be bad, as they are essentially giving Twitter the control to their personal information, and with others furious after being banned or suspended, thinking that Twitter made such moves with no apparent reason.
With the change, Twitter hopes the changes can make it easy for users to find what they are looking for, just to benefit both parties.
Abuse and harassment that have been happening on the platform. This made it a toxic place to be, with even its CEO Jack Dorsey seriously acknowledging that the social media he founded has serious online harassment issues, abuse, hostility and also trolls..
With the change, the microblogging platform hopes that it can give more clarity to people, at least when it comes to bans.
So here, its attempt to make its regulations more accessible, is certainly a welcome move.
But will it work? Again, people don't really care to read rules and terms online services always provide. Despite making it extremely shorter by organizing them thematically, not that many people will actually read them.
It's doubtful that rewriting the rules can actually change Twitter. But here, the company has at least something better in its defense when it comes to banning people that violate its rules by conveniently hiding behind the ambiguity of “free speech.”
Twitter's rules are meant to govern what users can and cannot do. Twitter has millions of users. Since no single person is the same, we people have different brains, thoughts and purposes regarding how we use the platform.
The real challenge for Twitter, is to enforce these policies.
Successfully doing this would make the platform benefit everyone.