Twitter Expanding Private Information Policy to Include Media ➝

From Twitter’s weblog, regarding their new policy on “sharing private media”:

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.

There are perfectly good reasons for a policy like this. But I worry it will be selectively enforced and some independent journalists will be caught in the crosshairs. Consider this bit near the end, emphasis added:

We 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. For instance, we would take into consideration whether the image is publicly available and/or is being covered by mainstream/traditional media (newspapers, TV channels, online news sites), 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 feels like this gives corporate outlets the ability to essentially launder media — publishing it on their site first and then to Twitter, meeting the conditions of the emphasized text.

➝ Source: