When it came to privacy, Twitter had what one privacy scholar called a “semi-truck–sized hole” in its standards: In most countries, users could post pictures of other individuals, without asking permission first. But that hole is being filled in, at least partially, by a new rule that forbids such posts. If a user wants to post a picture of someone, they need to get permission first, and if they fail to do so, the depicted person can report the post and have it removed. For some people, this protection offers a general sense of security and privacy; for others, including victims of harassment or doxxing attacks, it might offer a life-saving protection that keeps them from being harmed. But the new policy also is notably broad, leading some observers to suggest it is nearly impossible to enforce. Furthermore, it places the burden on the person whose privacy is violated to report the issue. It does not apply to large public events, such as if someone is videoed attending a rally. Nor do these rules apply to public figures or to posts that are in the public interest. Thus the new rule seems like a necessary minimum standard. But does it do enough to protect users’ privacy?
Source: Allison Prang and Deepa Seetharaman, “Twitter Bans Sharing of Private People’s Photos, Videos without Consent,” The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2021