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Twitter Safety Update Bans Sharing Photos Without Consent: A Win For Privacy?
Twitter has been undergoing several changes lately. One of the most recent ones is the change in leadership where Jack Dorsey handed over the reins to Parag Agarwal. Apart from the change in CEO, Twitter has also announced a few updates. One of them comes under Twitter Safety about sharing private images of people without their consent.
Twitter Safety Update
Twitter has emerged as the go-to platform when it comes to microblogging. Plus, governmental agencies and top companies use Twitter to make important announcements and decisions. At the same time, Twitter is used as a communication platform, including personal messages and chats shared between users.
The new Twitter Safety rules aim to uphold users' safety and privacy. Now, Twitter will be blocking users from sharing private images of other people without their consent. Here, Twitter users who are not public figures can ask Twitter to take down images or videos that were posted without their consent or permission.
Sharing images is an important part of folks' experience on Twitter. People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly. To that end we are expanding the scope of our Private Information Policy. 🧵— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 30, 2021
Twitter further explained the new rules apply to users who aren't public figures "or individuals when media and accompanying tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse." Twitter further stated that it "will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service."
Twitter Bans Sharing Photos Without Consent: A Win For Privacy?
Interestingly, the massive privacy update on Twitter comes just a day after the CEOs changed. Here, the use of individual photos and videos without consent is one of the highly debated topics of social media. In many instances, photos and videos of individuals are shared for malicious purposes.
The new rule by Twitter Safety comes as a win for the privacy of users. Moreover, the new rule joins the list of similar announcements by Twitter for disclosing individual details. For instance, Twitter has also prohibited the publication of private information of users. This could be anything like the user's phone number or address.
Be it photos, videos, phone numbers, or addresses - private information on social media is a growing concern. Such information is used to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals.
The effect is more evident on women, who often become victims of harassment after their details are shared without consent. Twitter further noted malicious activities like these have a "disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities."
Twitter Privacy Update: Not Exactly Clear
The Twitter privacy and safety update still has several unclear factors to bear in mind. For instance, we might go to a crowded place or a popular tourist spot and click pictures on Twitter. It would be impossible to seek and find the consent of everyone in the picture.
Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the City University of New York asked the same question. "Does this mean that if I take a picture of, say, a concert in Central Park, I need the permission of everyone in it? We diminish the sense of the public to the detriment of the public."
That said, the intention behind the Twitter Safety update is quite clear. Protecting individual users against harassment from other users is the key takeaway here, and the new update aims to do the same.