Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Twitter bans posting pictures of “private individuals” against their wishes

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Twitter will now let non-public people request takedowns of pictures or movies that includes them. The firm introduced the change this morning, extending an present ban on non-public info to cowl media. It’s aimed toward stopping harassment or invasions of privateness and consists of exceptions for posts which are “shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

“Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm,” reads a Twitter Safety weblog put up asserting the change. “The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.” Twitter will consider complaints by the topic of an image or video — or somebody representing them — based on its bigger non-public info coverage.

The rule probably covers all “media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted,” however the weblog put up describes a number of situations the place Twitter wouldn’t take away that media. As implied, it’s not relevant to people who find themselves public figures, a class that sometimes consists of politicians, celebrities, and different well-known folks. Twitter can even take different context into consideration, in addition to present guidelines like a ban on nonconsensual sexual imagery.

“We recognize that there are instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person,” the put up says. It might also go away media on-line if it’s being lined by conventional information retailers. And it should contemplate “if a particular image and the accompanying tweet text adds value to the public discourse, is being shared in public interest, or is relevant to the community.”

The purpose is to take away pictures or movies which are fueling on-line harassment campaigns, though, in observe, its implementation will seemingly rely upon moderators judging the nuance of a specific state of affairs. It’s unclear, as an illustration, how Twitter may need dominated on a 2020 Twitter video depicting a white lady calling police on a Black man — an incident that was extensively reported in mainstream retailers however solely following a viral Twitter video and which featured two non-public figures however echoed a bigger present dialog about racism and policing.

Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy says moderators will closely weigh the circumstances of a given put up. “We’re going to evaluate things in the context in which they’re shared, so I would encourage folks not to draw too many conclusions from past instances or hypotheticals,” Kennedy informed The Verge. The coverage can even require a first-person report requesting a takedown, not only a common grievance {that a} non-public determine’s picture was posted. And Twitter moderators will contemplate whether or not the put up was shared publicly on different social networks, not simply conventional media retailers. “The general rule around our private information policy is that if this is available and easily accessible off of Twitter, we’re not going to take action on it on Twitter,” stated Kennedy.

This change comes a day after a high-profile shakeup at Twitter, as longtime CEO Jack Dorsey was changed by former CTO Parag Agrawal.

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