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Explained: How will Twitter’s new private info policy tweak work

Twitter attributed the motivation of bringing out this policy update to the 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”.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
December 1, 2021 11:17:40 am
The logo for Twitter appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

In an attempt to make its anti-harassment policies more robust, Twitter has updated its private information policy to disallow users from posting photos and videos of private people without their permission. The move has come a day after 37-year-old Parag Agrawal took over as chief executive of Twitter, replacing co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Why has Twitter introduced this change to the policy?

Twitter attributed the motivation of bringing out this policy update to the 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”.

“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,” it noted.

How would this work?

While this does not mean that users uploading photos of private individuals will need to submit a consent form while posting, Twitter will take action when anyone reports a violation of the policy. “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,” it said.

“When we are notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorized representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, we will remove it,” the company added.

Are there any exceptions?

The company said that the new policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.

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