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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twitter invited a torrent of criticism after publicly saying Friday that it would take action against those who wished severe illness or death on the president, citing its broad prohibition against such expressions.

The big picture: While that policy has been on the books since April, many Twitter users — especially women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities and people of color — say they have reported such abuse in the past and the service has rarely taken action.

The point is being made by everyone from movie reviewers to members of Congress to activists and ordinary people sharing their stories of harassment and threats that did not lead to enforcement action: Marginalized groups endure threats and wishes for ill on a daily basis on Twitter.

What they're saying:

  • Shorenstein Center research director Joan Donovan: "For all of us that have been subject to threats where nothing has been done, this is a bitter pill. For those of us who have witnessed twitter users wishing death upon other politicians because they are women of color, this is a disgrace."
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "So... you mean to tell us you could've done this the whole time?"
  • Twitter responded Saturday: "We hear the voices who feel that we're enforcing some policies inconsistently. We agree we must do better, and we are working together inside to do so."

Meanwhile: Facebook said it would enforce a similar policy, but only for those who tag the president in their comments, or post them on his page.

Go deeper

Twitter suspends accounts of Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell

Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn speaking at the Million MAGA March in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and President Trump's lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday for breaking the platform's "Coordinated Harmful Activity" policy.

Why it matters: The action comes as part of the platform's crackdown on QAnon-related content. Both Flynn and Powell have promoted the far-right conspiracy theory that purports without evidence that the "deep state" is waging war against President Trump.

Google suspends Parler from app store after deadly Capitol violence

Photos: Getty Images

Google has pulled Parler, a social media app for conservatives and far-right extremists, from its app store for not taking stronger action to remove posts that seek "to incite ongoing violence" in the U.S.

Driving the news: For weeks prior to Wednesday's deadly siege on the Capitol, far-right Trump supporters discussed the idea of a violent protest in D.C. on various social media and chat platforms, including Parler.

Jack Dorsey to step down as Twitter CEO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Jack Dorsey will step down as CEO of Twitter, the company announced Monday. He will be succeeded by CTO Parag Agrawal.

The big picture: Dorsey is also the CEO of financial payments company Square, which he co-founded in 2009, and has become a crypto evangelist in recent years.