Twitter already controls sharing of explicit or sensitive details, including personally identifiable or private information. However, it now expands its Information Policy to regulate media (photos/videos) sharing on Twitter without the respective individual’s consent.
Twitter Regulates Media Sharing Under Expanded Policy
According to a recent blog post, Twitter will now bar users from sharing private photos and videos of anyone without permission.
As elaborated, the expanded Information Policy of the service now includes media sharing to control illicit activities. Given the increasing incidents of “photo leaks” and “video leaks” – publishing private data of other individuals online for blackmailing, harassment etc – Twitter has taken this step to regulate personal media sharing.
Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. 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 take action against a tweet if reported for sharing private photos or videos without consent.
This step is in addition to the other private data that Twitter already prohibits sharing under its Private Information Policy. So now, after the changes, the following details fall under the category of “private data” that the platform will regulate.
- Physical location details, such as complete addresses or GPS coordinates
- Identity documents and social security numbers (SSNs)
- Non-public contact details (such as personal phone number or email address)
- Financial information, including payment card data
- Biometric details, medical records, other private stuff
- Private photos and videos (without permission from the relevant individual)
Exceptions To The New Policy
This policy doesn’t explicitly apply to the media depicting celebrities and public figures (unless the shared stuff includes sensitive or private photos and videos). Likewise, it excludes any other media files that might be of public interest.
For this, Twitter has elaborated that it will deal with the reports on a case-to-case basis.
We would take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by mainstream/traditional media (newspapers, TV channels, online news sites), or 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.
Earlier, Twitter also launched “Safety Mode” to block abusive comments to contain online harassment, bullying, and similar issues.
Nonetheless, the onus of maintaining a safe social environment ultimately comes to the users. Specifically, sharing limited stuff publicly, avoiding open communication with strangers, and restricting account visibility are some of the best practices to ensure your Twitter profile remains safe from potential abusers and harassers.
Besides, users must ensure applying adequate security measures to protect online accounts from hacking attacks.
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