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Twitter Won't Allow Sharing Media Without a Person's Consent: What Does It Mean?

Twitter will now be able to take action against sharing media without the consent of the person depicted in it.

Updated
Tech and Auto
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Twitter's new privacy policy.</p></div>
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Expanding its privacy policy, social media platform Twitter on Tuesday, 30 November, said that it has expanded the scope of its private information policy to now include media such as images and videos.

Under the updated policy, Twitter will now be able to take action against media shared without the consent of the person depicted in it or any media that exposes the person's 'private information.'

Citing growing concerns over use of media and information to harass individuals, Twitter said that its misuse can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.

"While our existing policies and Twitter Rules cover explicit instances of abusive behaviour, this update will allow us to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content, provided it’s posted without the consent of the person depicted," Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter Won't Allow Sharing Media Without a Person's Consent: What Does It Mean?

  1. 1. What Falls Under Private Information?

    According to the existing Twitter policy, following is the kind of information that counts as 'private.'

    • Home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private

    • Identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers (Twitter may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private)

    • Contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses

    • Financial account information, including bank account and credit card details

    • Other private information, including biometric data or medical records.

    According to the expanded scope of the policy, the definition of 'private information' will now also include "media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted."

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  2. 2. What Action Does Twitter Plan To Take and How?

    Twitter will remove the content after it is notified either by the individuals depicted or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared.

    "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. For instance, 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," the statement said.

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  3. 3. When Will the Policy Not Apply?

    The policy will not apply in the following scenarios:

    • Media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to the public discourse.

    • Instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person.

    "However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior," Twitter said.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What Falls Under Private Information?

According to the existing Twitter policy, following is the kind of information that counts as 'private.'

  • Home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private

  • Identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers (Twitter may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private)

  • Contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses

  • Financial account information, including bank account and credit card details

  • Other private information, including biometric data or medical records.

According to the expanded scope of the policy, the definition of 'private information' will now also include "media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted."

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What Action Does Twitter Plan To Take and How?

Twitter will remove the content after it is notified either by the individuals depicted or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared.

"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. For instance, 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," the statement said.

When Will the Policy Not Apply?

The policy will not apply in the following scenarios:

  • Media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to the public discourse.

  • Instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person.

"However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior," Twitter said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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