On the morning of 30th November, Twitter announced the change that it will now let private individuals request takedowns of pictures or videos featuring them also extending denial of private information to cover media. Announcing the change the Twitters officials asserted that 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. To support their cause one Twitter Official said that “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 reason why Twitter became sudden 'reluctant’ is that there are growing concerns about the use of content to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. They also found a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. They witnessed some high-profile examples of online harassment include the barrages of racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse on Twitch, the world's biggest video game streaming site. But instances of harassment abound, and victims must often wage lengthy fights to see hurtful, insulting, or illegally produced images of them removed from the online platforms. “This platform, like other social media networks, has suffered against bullying, misinformation, and hate-fuelled content,” said a Twitter official in a response to the query of some Twitter users who pushed the company to clarify exactly how the tightened policy would work.
They are driven by the causes of ‘social harassment’ and their ultimate goal is to remove pictures or videos that are fuelling online harassment campaigns, although, in practice, its implementation will likely depend on moderators judging the nuance of a particular situation. It’s unclear, for instance, how Twitter might have ruled on a 2020 Twitter video depicting a white woman calling the police on a Black man — an incident that was widely reported in mainstream outlets. A spokesperson of Twitter Trenton Kennedy proclaimed that moderators will heavily weigh the circumstances of a given post. We’re going to evaluate things in the context in which they’re shared, so I would encourage folks not to draw too many conclusions from past instances or hypothetical events. The policy will also require a first-person report requesting a takedown, not just a general complaint that a private figure’s image was posted. And Twitter moderators will consider whether the post was shared publicly on other social networks, not just traditional media outlets. “The comprehensive rule around our private information policy is that if this is available and easily accessible off of Twitter, we’re not going to take action on it on Twitter,” said Kennedy.
It has created a huge impact on their users however, it does not apply to people who are public figures, a category that typically includes politicians, celebrities, and other well-known people. Twitter will also take another context into consideration, as well as existing rules like a ban on non-consensual sexual imagery.