The Free Thought Project
November 30, 2021
One day after brand new Twitter CEO Parag ‘Not Bound by the First Amendment” Agrawal took the helm, the company announced that it will no longer allow people to share ‘images or videos of private individuals without their consent’ due to “growing concerns about the misuse of media and information” to “harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals.”
We assume this includes photos of
protesters rioters, people looting a Louis Vuitton store, the driver of an SUV plowing into a crowd of people, and viral memes which include non-public figures.
In a Tuesday blog post, the company wrote:
“There are 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. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorized private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options.”
What is in violation of this policy?
Under our private information policy, you can’t share the following types of private information or media, without the permission of the person who it belongs to:
- home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private;
- identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers – note: we may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private;
- contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses;
- financial account information, including bank account and credit card details; and
- other private information, including biometric data or medical records.
- NEW: media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.
Twitter does provide themselves an ‘out’ – writing that “there are instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person. ”
Who makes that decision, and will the race of the suspect be a factor?
The move comes two days after CNN‘s Brian Stelter called for the censorship of memes.
According to the blog post, “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. This 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.”
“However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior.”
Earlier today we shared Matt Taibbi’s “Will Twitter become an ocean of suck?”
Looks like it’s starting…