In a huge policy shift, Twitter has outlawed the distribution of private persons’ photos and videos without their permission.
People will be able to request that photos or videos of themselves be deleted from the site if they did not consent to the photographs or videos being uploaded.
Public figures will not be able to have their pictures taken down until they are harassed, and images and tweets that are in the public interest or “bring value to public dialogue” would be allowed to remain online.
It’s the company’s first significant policy announcement under new CEO Parag Agrawal, who took over from Jack Dorsey on Monday when he stepped down.
The new limitations are an expansion of Twitter’s current “private information” rules, according to the company. The sharing of information such as people’s home addresses or identification documents was previously prohibited under those guidelines.
It differs from its policy on abusive behavior, which could already be used to remove photographs that were being used to harass or intimidate people. It’s also distinct from the company’s current non-consensual nudity policy, which covers situations in which naked photographs of both public and private individuals are posted without their consent.
Images may be shared “in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent occurrence, or as part of a newsworthy event owing to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person,” according to Twitter.
In such circumstances, it will consider the image’s context and may opt to keep it up regardless, according to the statement. Images that are already publicly available, those that are being covered by news sites, “or if a particular image and the accompanying tweet text adds value to the public debate, is being shared in the public interest, or is significant to the community” are examples.