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Twitter bans users from sharing photos, videos of other people without their consent

By AYIE LICSI Published Dec 02, 2021 7:55 pm

You can no longer share a photo or video of someone else without their consent on Twitter.

This move is part of the company's private information policy, which has earlier banned users from sharing other people's personal information—like their address or location, IDs, private contact numbers, financial details, and medical data—on the platform.

"Sharing images is an important part of folks' experience on Twitter," the company's Safety account said. "People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly."

This policy was put in place to curb the misuse of media to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of private individuals.

How will it work? Will there be a prompt whenever you post photos on the app then?

Well, no. Twitter won't require consent from individuals in pictures, but they will give them the option to have any media portraying their image taken down. 

This policy, however, is for private individuals and 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," as Twitter said. The company can still remove content on public figures if they're intended for harassment.

So this means you can still share photos of your idols and favorite celebrities on your accounts.

But what about photos of crowds—like of a sporting event or protests?

"Context matters," Twitter clarified. "Our existing private information policy includes many exceptions in order to enable robust reporting on newsworthy events and conversations that are in the public interest."

"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," it added.

Users voiced their concerns about their other concerns about the journalist criteria. One user noted how Twitter "will now be the arbitrator of truth and information" since they will review the reported posts.

"If it's taken in public, it's publicly available, full stop. Clarify that or just admit you're playing a shell game with what you want allowed and what you want censored," another user complained.

One user brought up a scenario wherein asking for consent for an individual to be in a video would be unlikely. "Consider a witness video of someone killing someone else. Where would you get the consent? 

Twitter hasn't clarified how they will determine whether or not a posted image or video was given permission for.

This new policy was announced after Twitter appointed a new CEO, Parag Agrawal, who succeeded founder Jack Dorsey