Minister Louis Farrakhan tweeted a video clip of one of his recent speeches with the comment, "I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm anti-Termite." Twitter says it's letting the comment stand because its policy on dehumanizing tweets is not yet in effect. The proposed policy defines dehumanizing tweets as ones that inlude "language that treats others as less than human … Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic)."
However, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the rules have not yet taken effect, so Farrakhan's language is not in violation of any extant policy. The spokesperson did not give a date for when the new rule would go into effect, or if it would at all. He did not address whether Farrakhan's tweet would be in violation were the policy in effect.
The company has in the past removed special verified status from users as a way of punishing them for offensive speech, as it did in July when it unverified Farrakhan after the minister tweeted, "Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan."
I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018