Twitter bans posting ‘private media’ against subjects’ wishes

Twitter will now allow private individuals to request removal of photos or videos that show them. Announcing the change this morning, the company has extended a private information-based ban on media coverage. It is intended to prevent harassment or invasion of privacy and includes exceptions for posts that “share in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

“Sharing personal media, such as photos or videos, is likely to violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm,” it states. Twitter Security Blog Post Announcing the change. “The abuse of private media can affect everyone, but it can have a disproportionate impact on women, activists, dissidents and members of minority communities.” Twitter will rate complaints by the subject of a photo or video – or a person representing them – according to the largest private information policy.

The rule will likely cover all “media of individuals without the permission of the person(s) filmed,” but the blog post describes several scenarios in which Twitter will not remove that media. As it is implied, this does not apply to people who are public figures, a category that typically includes politicians, celebrities, and other well-known people. Twitter will also take into account the other context, in addition to existing rules such as banning non-sensual sexual images.

“We recognize that there are instances where account holders may share photos or videos of individuals in an effort to assist someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of an event worthy of publicity due to the public benefit value, and this may outweigh the safety risk to the person. , says the post. It may also leave the media online if it is covered by traditional news outlets. It will consider “whether a particular image and its accompanying Tweet text add value to public discourse, are shared for the public good, or are relevant to the community.”

The goal is to remove images or videos that fuel online harassment campaigns, although their implementation will likely depend on brokers judging the nuances of a particular situation. It is unclear, for example, how Twitter could have judged the 2020 Twitter video depicting a white woman calling the police on a black man – an incident that was widely reported in major outlets but only after a viral video on Twitter that It featured two special characters but echoed a larger conversation that exists around racism and policing.

Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy says moderators will aggressively evaluate the circumstances of a particular post. “We will evaluate things in the context in which they are being shared, so I would encourage people not to draw too many inferences from previous examples or assumptions,” Kennedy said. the edge. The policy will also require a first-person report requesting removal, not just a general complaint about posting a private selfie. Twitter moderators will consider whether the post was made public on other social networks, not just traditional media. “The general rule about our private information policy is that if this is available and easily accessible from Twitter, we will not take action on it on Twitter,” Kennedy said.

The change comes a day after a major shakeup at Twitter, in which the company’s longtime CEO Jack Dorsey was replaced by former CEO Parag Agrawal.

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