As part of Twitter endless try to thwart the dockers and trolls they seem to be lurk in every corner of its platform, the company revised its private information policy on Monday to explicitly ban the sharing of images or videos of private individuals without their consent.
Even before this update, Twitter existing policies about the types of personal information that can and cannot be shared have already been quite robust. Until now, Twitter has banned users from sharing information such as home addresses, private phone or email numbers, credit card numbers, or medical information. (Do Twitter is good at conducting his own politics is another issue.) The company also had similar rules banning revenge pornography since the beginning of 2015. Now the company is expanding user protection to everything forms of recorded and photographed media – even if they are not in the least related to pornography.
“Sharing personal media, such as pictures or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy and can lead to emotional or physical harm,” Twitter wrote in announcement on policy change. “The abuse of private media can affect everyone, but it can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents and members of minority communities.”
In such cases, Twitter will not proactively remove the offensive image or clip posted on Twitter. Instead, the company countries that he needs a “first person report” to determine if they are the media in fact contains some kind of images that are shared without the victim’s permission. These reports can come either from the person portrayed in the insulting place, or from some type of legal representative, such as a guardian or attorney.
“When the persons shown, or an authorized representative, inform us that they have not agreed to share their private image or video, we will remove them,” Twitter wrote. And while that sounds as a fine policies, it is worth remembering that these types of policies have both directions. Under the new rules, activists i ex-girlfriends who have their photos pasted online may require Twitter to remove them, but it can … anyone else. In cases where people use Twitter to circulate the clips that are displayed terrible examples police brutality, for example, the police officers in the above recordings could, theoretically, contact Twitter and request that they be removed. But there is always the argument that police officers are public figures.
As for accounts that are contrary to this new policy, Twitter notes that it will temporarily lock the profile until whoever is behind it downloads the media.
They are Still, two big exceptions to the new Twitter update. First, these new policies do not apply to media in which public figures such as political figures or celebrities appear – so you are still free to tweet images of Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian at will. Second, a new policy does not apply to images or clips that are “shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse”.
Supposedly, a picture of some random person online would not be a boon to public discourse, but what about the cops listed above, or any other example where the media is used to increase accountability? Finally, “public interest” or “dod[ed] value ”are soft phrases that Twitter will have to define itself, depending on the media in question. We contacted the company to see if it could clarify what any of these phrases could do in fact means. Until then, it’s worth being a little careful in sharing faces on the platform, unless they’re already in public.
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