On Tuesday, Twitter Inc. announced new rules that prohibit users from sharing private images without their prior consent. It comes just one day after the Social Media Giant changed CEOs in a move that tightens its policy.
People who aren’t public figures can now ask Twitter to remove images or videos posted of them without their permission under the updated rules.
According to Twitter, media content and accompanying tweets shared by public figures or individuals do not fall under this policy.
“Whenever possible, we will assess the context within which the content is shared and, if appropriate, may allow the images or videos to remain online,” the company said.
For years, there has been debate about internet users’ rights to sue platforms when images or data about them are posted by third parties, especially for malicious purposes.
Twitter already prohibits publishing private information, such as a person’s phone number or address, but “growing concerns” have been raised about using content to “harsh, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals,” Twitter said.
According to the company, women, activists, dissidents, and minorities are disproportionately affected.
Some high-profile examples of online harassment include the barrage of racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world’s largest video game streaming service.
Although harassment is rampant, victims often must wage lengthy battles to remove hurtful, insulting, or illegally produced images of themselves from online platforms.
Twitter users pushed the company to provide more details about the policies tightened.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Jeff Jarvis a journalism professor at the City University of New York asked: “Does this mean I need everyone’s permission to take a picture in Central Park? Seems we diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public
Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, took over after co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he was stepping down.
As with other social media networks, Twitter has faced challenges from bullying, misinformation, and hate-filled content.