The broad expansion of Twitter’s policy against posting personal information was met with backlash soon after the company announced Tuesday, as Twitter users questioned whether the policy would be practical to enforce.
Twitter’s new policy It added that photographs or videos of private persons posted without their permission would be removed on their request. Twitter’s rules already prohibit the posting of personal information such as addresses, phone numbers and medical records.
Twitter’s new policy states, “When we are notified by featured individuals or an authorized representative that they have not consented to the sharing of their personal image or video, we will remove it.” “This policy does not apply to media featuring public figures or individuals when the media and the accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to the public discourse.”
The policy goes beyond US law, which allows people to be photographed or filmed in public places. Under Twitter’s policy, people can request that their photos be removed, even if the photos were taken in public.
But Twitter said its policy is in line with privacy laws in the European Union and elsewhere and that photos of private individuals in those places have already been removed, in line with local laws.
A Twitter spokesperson said the new policy would expand privacy rights for users in countries that do not have similar laws. Under Twitter’s policy, a user could be removed if it was used to harass them or they didn’t like the photo.
Twitter plans to make exceptions for newsworthy images and videos, and the company will consider whether the image was publicly available, was being used by traditional news outlets, or was “relevant to the community.”
“We will always endeavor to assess the context in which the Content is shared, and in such cases, we may allow images or videos to remain on the Service,” the policy said.