Twitter on Tuesday clarified its definition of abusive behaviour, saying any one engaging in online violence against specific groups would stand to have their accounts deleted. “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease,” the company stated in a blog post.

“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,” Megan Cristina, director of trust and safety told The Guardian.

While Tuesday's statement did not explicitly mention the Islamic State, the site has been getting increasing complaints that members of the militant group use it blatantly to push their propaganda and recruit followers.

The microblogging site had earlier issued just a generic warning banning users from threatening or promoting “violence against others”. Experts said the new definition would help streamline the process and take the guesswork out of acting against online abusers.