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By Rakesh JhaJanuary 18, 2022
In its latest move to prevent harassment or invasions of privacy, micro-blogging site Twitter has banned the sharing of photos and videos of private individuals without their consent. The policy update will enable users to contact the microblogging platform to have such media removed.
The social media giant’s existing policy bars users from sharing information like a person’s home address, private phone numbers or emails, credit card numbers, or medical information. Twitter says sharing someone’s age or job, or sharing screenshots of text messages doesn’t violate its rules.
The ban, however, doesn’t apply to public figures if the media and tweet are of public interest, but content featuring those people may be removed if the site determines it’s been shared “to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them.”
Now, the company is extending user protections to all forms of filmed and photographed media. The platform will also take other context into consideration, as well as existing rules like a ban on nonconsensual sexual imagery.
Sharing images is an important part of folks' experience on Twitter. People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly. To that end we are expanding the scope of our Private Information Policy. _
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021
“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 blog post announcing 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.”