Twitter Acts Against Revenge Porn

For the Twitter user who’d say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was wrong to post pictures of my ex-girlfriend in a compromising position,” there’s a new, explicit policy banning such an activity. The platform is traditionally very open and laissez-faire in regards to the content posted by its users.

Communications Decency Act

punchExisting legislation such as the Communications Decency Act currently protects Twitter and other sites from being liable for content uploaded by its users, but the recent movement of popular conscience against what is deemed “revenge porn” has moved the fastest-growing social network to ban the practice.

Previously, the site did not have a policy on the posting of other people’s naked photos or videos. Surely, posts could be taken down on a case-by-base basis, especially in the case of underage users, but now Twitter has added the following line to its “private information” section:

You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.

You can see here that previously they did not have such a clause. The change also renames “pornographic content” to “graphic content.” Such is not banned in general use of Twitter, but certain uses of graphic content are against the rules – like in a profile photo.

Revenge porn – the practice of publicizing naked photos and homemade pornography of former lovers – has been the subject of several headlines recently. One man, Hunter Moore, is facing up to seven years in federal prison for his time spent as the “revenge porn king.” Meanwhile Kevin Bollaert of California was found guilty last month on counts of identity theft and extortion for his website that charged women to have the photos removed. Bollaert’s site was not dissimilar to sites that publish embarrassing arrest information and force the citizen to pay in order to have it taken down.

Twitter now has a form for victims of revenge porn to fill out and report the offending individual and tweets. The individual themselves must be the ones to make the claim, and conceivably there are still cases where a Twitter user might be let off the hook – such as if the images or videos were first posted elsewhere on the Internet. The way the policies interact with each other makes it overtly unclear whether Twitter will always delete revenge porn or not. One might say the real question is whether Twitter wants users who engage in such behavior or not. Taking revenge by embarrassing your ex in such a damaging way is a clear sign of deeper underlying mental health issues.

Writing for Motherboard, Carl Franzen says Twitter’s new rules don’t get the job done.

Far from being proactive, the method for policing content on both is reactive: Twitter and Reddit have said they’re going to act after an abuse has already been committed, by which point the damage may have already been done. Even if Twitter or Reddit remove revenge porn or other abusive content, someone else could have copied that content and posted it on other websites.

Revenge porn is one of those things that couldn’t have been an epidemic before the Internet but is now a reality we all must face. Proactive doesn’t just mean having policies in place to deal with such abuses of people’s privacy, but also means educating people about the dangers of having such photos taken in the first place.

Author:

Website: http://phm.link

P. H. Madore has covered the cryptocurrency beat over the course of hundreds of articles for Hacked's sister site, CryptoCoinsNews, as well as some of her competitors. He is a major contributing developer to the Woodcoin project, and has made technical contributions on a number of other cryptocurrency projects. In spare time, he recently began a more personalized, weekly newsletter at http://ico.phm.link