Twitter tightens rules, bans sharing people's photos without consent

WION Web Team
San Francisco, United States Published: Dec 01, 2021, 09:01 AM(IST)

The company emphasised that the policy does not apply to 'public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.' Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

The right of internet users to challenge third parties who post their images or data to platforms, especially when the third party is using them in a malicious way, has been debated for years

A day after Twitter changed its CEO, the social media giant has now introduced a tightening of rules. In a stepping up of the network's policy, the platform has now banned users from sharing private images of others without their consent.

Twitter now allows non-public figures to request that pictures or videos of them that appear to have been posted without their permission be taken down.

The company emphasised that the policy does not apply to "public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse."

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"We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service," the company added.

The right of internet users to challenge third parties who post their images or data to platforms, especially when the third party is using them in a malicious way, has been debated for years.

Currently, Twitter prohibits publishing private information such as a person's phone number or address, but there are "growing concerns" about the use of content to "harass, intimidate and reveal the identities of individuals," the company said.

The company noted a "disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities."

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As with other social media platforms, Twitter has had trouble combating bullying, misinformation and hate-filled content.

One of the more prominent examples of online harassment is the barrage of racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world's largest video game streaming site.

Yet harassment is common, and victims must often wage lengthy legal battles to have hurtful, insulting or illegally produced images of themselves removed from online platforms.

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The tightened policy prompted some Twitter users to ask for clarifications.

"Does this mean that if I take a picture of, say, a concert in Central Park, I need the permission of everyone in it? We diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public," tweeted Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York.

Just a day before Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced his departure from the company and passed CEO duties to company executive Parag Agrawal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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