Twitter Has a New Photo and Video Policy, and People Are Confused

Asia's Tech News Daily

Twitter is in a period of monumental change, with founder Jack Dorsey stepping down as CEO and former CTO Parag Agrawal taking his place. But these changes seem to go beyond leadership. On Tuesday, the social media platform announced that it decided to expand its private information policy.

Twitter Has a New Photo and Video Policy, and People Are Confused

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV | Getty Images

Under this policy, private individuals can request takedowns of pictures or videos featuring them without their consent.

Beginning today, we will not allow the sharing of private media, such as images or videos of private individuals without their consent. Publishing people’s private info is also prohibited under the policy, as is threatening or incentivizing others to do so.https://t.co/7EXvXdwegG

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021

On the Twitter thread, the platform wrote that the policy was meant to “curb the misuse of media to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of private individuals, which disproportionately impacts women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”

Twitter also reminded users that context matters, and that its policy will include exceptions to “enable robust reporting on newsworthy events” and “conversations that are in the public interest.” However, several people tweeted their confusion about where these exceptions lie.

This policy is astonishingly vague, badly written, and wide open to abuse. Your pool of moderators does not realistically have enough local knowledge to make the assessments required. What are you thinking here?

— Andrew Livingston (@andylivingston) November 30, 2021

So if I take a picture of a landmark and have some people in it, would posting that violate this policy? Or if I share a video like the one of George Floyd being murdered, would I need the consent of everyone in that video? Because that video is the reason there was justice.

— Bertski (@NYIslandGuy) November 30, 2021

Hi @TwitterSafety since most memes and gifs involve pictures of private people who haven’t given their permission to use their photo/video for that purpose are memes/gifs now banned from your platform under this policy? I don’t have this private individual’s permission. pic.twitter.com/nRjxgNBMdQ

— Russ Andes (@russish) November 30, 2021

Twitter did mention that it will consider whether the image is publicly available or is being covered by journalists in making its decisions.

We will take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by journalists—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.

— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021

Related: Elon Musk Speaks Out on New Twitter CEO

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