Twitter's Reporting Form Will Now Include Hate Against People With Disabilities

"It's against our rules to directly attack or threaten someone based on their protected category, including disability."

You can now easily report a tweet for directing hate toward disabilities in addition to race, religion, gender, and orientation thanks to Twitter's new form. The change comes two months after disability activist, Natalie Weaver, fought for a tweet using her daughter's image in an offensive manner to be taken down. 

Her daughter Sophia has facial differences and Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurological disorder that leads to severe impairments almost exclusively in girls. Weaver told The Mighty that the account used her daughter's photo to promote eugenics. Initially, Twitter refused to take down the tweet. 

On Twitter, the mom shared that she's been told to "kill her child," "put her out of her misery," and that she "should've aborted her." To those who think that kind of speech is "just a joke," Weaver has this to say, "You need to learn what hate and harassment towards disabled people looks like. It exists and I won't stand for it!" 

Eventually, Twitter took down the tweet using Sophia's photo and the offending account was suspended. But Weaver's issues with Twitter didn't stop there. She called for a change in their violation reporting form. While Twitter's policy includes protection against hate directed toward people with disabilities, the option to report it was not explicitly listed in their reporting tool. This could potentially deter some people from reporting a hateful tweet about someone differently-abled because they may know that disabilities are also protected. 

A spokesperson told WCNC that the reason why disability is not specifically listed as a category in their reporting form is because "there's limited space." 

Well, thanks to Weaver's efforts, they've found the space. Through social media and interviews with the press, Weaver continued to advocate for change and finally got the answer she was hoping for. 

On Monday, Twitter announced that they've changed the reporting form to include disability stating, "It's against our rules to directly attack or threaten someone based on their protected category, including disability. You asked us to clarify this in our reporting flow, and we've updated it to be more specific."

"Many people with medical conditions and/or disabilities receive hate and harassment every day on Twitter and no violations are found," Weaver told The Mighty. "I am hopeful that this change will create a safer environment for people with medical conditions and disabilities. I hope that Twitter support will be more consistent now in finding violations. I will continue my work to ensure that Twitter support follows through on this."

Cover image via Twin Design / Shutterstock.com 

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