Twitter makes another rule change; this time tackling revenge porn twitter transparency

In the latest of its (likely fruitless) attemptsto govern the seething mob that comprises its user base, Twitter rolled out a change in how it oversees the publication of what it euphemistically referred to as ‘intimate media.’

The latest rule change intends to combat yet another toxic Twitter problem; the prevalence of revenge porn throughout its network.

Earlier this year, Twitter was under fire for its slow response to naked photographs that were distributed by Rob Kardashian of his ex-girlfriend, seemingly without her consent. The photos circulated on the site for thirty minutes before they were taken down.

The new policy from Twitter states that no one can post or share “intimate photos or videos” of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent.

Twitter’s definition of “intimate media” includes content captured with a hidden camera that may involve “nudity, partial nudity, and/or sexual acts”; images that are sometimes called ‘creepshots’ that involve a user being able to see genitalia, buttocks, or breasts of another person; images or videos taken “in a private setting and not intended for public distribution”; and any other images that may be deemed private.

The company noted that some forms of consensual nudity and adult content are permitted on the site and gave itself a pretty big loophole should it fail to respond to something that could be a violation of its policy in a timely manner.

The new policy states:

To help prevent our teams from making a mistake and removing consensual intimate media, we may require a report from the actual subject or their authorized representative prior to taking any enforcement action. We will reply back to those reports via email and request that the subject provide documentation to verify their identity. Please note that this documentation will be destroyed once it is no longer needed by Twitter to evaluate the case and will not be shared with any third parties. We will not share any details about who reported this content with the violator.

Luckily, this burden of proof standard doesn’t apply to “creepshots or upskirts.” In those instances Twitter won’t require documentation, “as it is often difficult for victims of this content to identify themselves.”

Any account in violation of the new rules will be suspended, once Twitter identifies that the content was, indeed, distributed without consent. Retweeters will be asked to remove offending tweets with a warning that if they continue to violate the policy, their Twitter accounts will be suspended.

Of course, as one of my esteemed co-workers noted, all of this is academic, since Twitter doesn’t allow harassment or hate speech on its site either — and those policies have worked out incredibly well.