Twitter will no longer allow media of private individuals such as images or videos to be shared on the platform without their consent. The microblogging website on Tuesday noted that it was extending its private information policy. Twitter will take action if it receives a report that a Tweet contains unauthorised private media. It noted that there are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information which is not available anywhere else online. Twitter said that such photos and videos could be used as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals.
"Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media, such as images or videos of private individuals without their consent. Publishing people's private info is also prohibited under the policy, as is threatening or incentivizing others to do so," Twitter wrote on its platform.
"The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities," Twitter explained in its blog post noting that such media can lead to physical and emotional harm of individuals. The platform, however, will not take down content which shows people participating in public events like large-scale protests, sporting events, among others.
Twitter further said that it will remove media given that it is notified by "individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative", that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared. However, the platform will require a first-person report of the photo or video. After the report is received, Twitter will review before enforcement action is taken.
Twitter said that it will try to determine the context in which the content is shared and might allow images or videos to remain on the service. For instance, Twitter noted that it would take into consideration if the image is publicly available or covered by mainstream media or if a particular image and accompanying tweet adds value to public discourse, is being shared in public interest or if it is relevant to the community.
The media will not be in violation of its policy if people share their own private information on the platform and if the information is present elsewhere in a non-abusive manner. It also does not consider the following to be private, including name, birthdate or age, place of education or employment, location information related to commercial property or places of business, where this information is publicly available, descriptions of physical appearance, gossip, rumours, accusations, and allegations and screenshots of text messages or messages from other platforms unless they contain private information example, phone number.
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