Twitter Makes It Clear Bullies Won't Be Tolerated

Revamped rules prohibit "hateful conduct."

— -- Twitter has undergone a year of change -- and is ending 2015 with a revamped rules page that says the company has zero tolerance for Internet bullies.

"Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behavior and hateful conduct," Megan Cristina, director of trust and safety at Twitter wrote in a blog post.

While the re-written rules sound similar to the stance Twitter has taken in the past against online harassment, they include new language prohibiting "hateful conduct" that seeks to demean another user on the basis of race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability or disease.

Twitter also states users are banned from creating a new account when a previous one was suspending if its purpose is to inflict harm on other users by sending them hateful messages.

"The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice," Cristina wrote. "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."

Over the past year, Twitter has beefed up its anti-bullying tools by streamlining the process for users to report abuse. In February, Twitter reported the new system resulted in five times as many user reports. Twitter said it responded by tripling the size of its support team focused on handling abuse reports.

"Keeping users safe requires a comprehensive and balanced approach where everyone plays a role," Cristina wrote. "We will continue to build on these initiatives to empower our users and ensure that Twitter remains a platform for people to express themselves."