Twitter Bans Sharing Videos and Photos of Private Individuals Without Their Consent

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

Twitter has announced an expansion to its private information policy regarding private media, which bans the sharing of photos and videos of private individuals without their consent.

The tech giant’s privacy policy had already prohibited Twitter users from sharing the sensitive personal information of private individuals, including their home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and personal documents on the social media platform.

“Beginning (Nov. 30), 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,” the company’s Safety team said in a tweet.

The policy also discourages users from sharing personal information like sign-in credentials that would enable malicious actors to gain access to a user’s sensitive personal information without their consent. It also forbids users from seeking financial compensation in exchange for another person’s private information, like in blackmail schemes.

Guidelines for Consideration

However, Twitter stressed that the policy requires that the private individuals depicted in photos or videos make a report in order for it to even be considered. Violators found sharing private information and media with a “clearly abusive intent” will have their content removed and be locked out of their account temporarily. Users found violating the private information policy twice will potentially face permanent suspension of their account.

“When private information or media has been shared on Twitter, we need a first-person report or a report from an authorized representative in order to make the determination that the image or video has been shared without their permission,” said a Twitter spokesperson.

Twitter added that this new policy will not be applied to content featuring public figures or individuals participating in large events like protests and live sporting events. The policy will also not apply to individuals “when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

The tech company also said in the document that it will make sure to contextualize the content and see if the pictures and videos are publicly available elsewhere or being published by media outlets.

“There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals,” Twitter said. “Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.

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