- Individuals now can request that photographs or videos containing them be removed from Twitter.
- It is meant to prevent harassment and invasions of privacy but includes an exception for posts published in the public interest or add value to general conversation.
- Twitter will investigate complaints filed by the subject of a photograph or video, or on their behalf, in compliance with its more extensive privacy standards.
- The goal is to prevent photos or films used to fuel online harassment campaigns, but implementation will almost definitely be contingent on moderators determining the sensitivity of a particular occurrence.
Private individuals can now request that images or videos involving them be removed from Twitter. This morning, the business announced the move, expanding an existing limitation on private information to include journalists. It is intended to prevent harassment and privacy breaches and make exceptions for posts shared in the public interest or that contribute value to public discourse.
According to a Twitter Safety blog post announcing the change, sharing personal media, such as photographs or videos, may breach an individual’s privacy and result in emotional or physical harm. Private media abuse affects everyone, but it disproportionately affects women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.
Twitter will examine complaints made by the subject of a photograph or video or someone acting on their behalf following its broader privacy policies.
While the regulation might theoretically apply to any material created by private individuals without the consent of the individual(s) depicted, the blog post identifies various instances in which Twitter would not remove the media. As mentioned, it does not apply to public personalities, which often include politicians, celebrities, and other well-known individuals. Twitter will also evaluate different contexts and existing policies, such as a prohibition on nonconsensual sexual imagery.
Twitter Providing Individual’s Privacy
According to the post, the platform recognizes instances when account holders may share images or videos of private individuals to assist someone in a crisis. Such as the aftermath of a violent event or as part of a newsworthy event of public interest, But this may outweigh the risk to an individual’s safety. Additionally, it may exit media sites online if traditional news outlets cover it. Further, it will examine if an image and accompanying tweet text contribute value to the public conversation, are shared in the public interest, or are relevant to the community.
The idea is to eliminate images or videos used to fuel online harassment campaigns. However, implementation will almost certainly depend on moderators assessing the sensitivity of a given instance. It’s unclear, for example, how Twitter would have ruled on a 2020 Twitter video depicting a white woman calling the cops on a black man. This incident was widely reported in mainstream media but came from a viral Twitter video and featured two private figures but echoed a larger ongoing conversation about racism and policing.
According to Twitter spokeswoman Trenton Kennedy, moderators will carefully consider the circumstances around a particular tweet. Kennedy stated that they would examine things in the context they are shared, and he would advise people not to jump to conclusions based on previous incidents or hypotheticals. Additionally, the policy will require a first-person report requesting a takedown rather than a general complaint that a picture of a private figure was shared.
Further, Twitter moderators will consider whether the message was shared publicly on other social media platforms, not just traditional news organizations. Kennedy said in his statement, “The general rule regarding Twitter’s private information policy is that if anything is available and easily accessible outside of Twitter, they will not take action on it on Twitter.”