Revenge porn forbidden: Twitter bans hobby of bitter ex-boyfriends

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Twitter bans “revenge porn”.

Twitter has taken steps to stop the posting of “revenge porn” on the site and to prevent the spread of stolen nude photos, such as those of Jennifer Lawrence. The new private information clause added to its rules states: “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.” It has added the same clause under its “threats and abuse” guidelines. It marks Twitter’s second move toward defeating trolls after it made it more difficult for users to be “doxxed,” or have their private information exposed against their will.

Thousands of intimate photos of celebrities, including those of actress Jennifer Lawrence, were posted online last year and then circulated on social media after a breach of their passwords. Posting “revenge porn” images and video was made a criminal offence in England and Wales with prison sentences up to two years for those found guilty of posting content without the subjects consent. This protects victims so long as moderators move quickly and insulates against false claims by anti-porn activists.” The Communications Decency Act protects website owners from being held liable for the content users post on their websites, making it difficult for authorities to go after them. The micro-blogging site said that users who report content shared without their consent will be required to verify their identity and prove their lack of consent over images. The move by Twitter forms part of chief executive Dick Costolo’s push to try and make abusing people on the company’s platform more difficult and costly for those perpetrating the abuse while balancing freedom of speech.

Users may not make direct, specific threats of violence against others, including threats against a person or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, or disability. Twitter tripled the size of its abuse report team and vowed to crackdown on trolls that were causing outspoken members of the public and those in the public spotlight leave the service, hounded by organised campaigns of abuse aimed at silencing the minority or dissenting voice. Hunter Moore, known as “Revenge Porn King” and “The Most Hated Man On The Internet,” plead guilty to federal charges for posting stolen naked photos of hundreds of women. What if, for instance, a photo has already reached all corners of the internet (like during the celebrity hacking scandal) and is then posted to Twitter?

Craig Brittain, who ran a Hunter Moore copycat site “Is Anybody Down,” has pledged to get out of the porn business after getting heat from the Federal Trade Commission for engaging in unfair business practices. Though doing so is still a depraved act, it may not necessarily be against Twitter’s rules: Keep in mind that although you may consider certain information to be private, not all postings of such information may be a violation of this policy.

We may consider the context and nature of the information posted, local privacy laws, and other case-specific facts when determining if this policy has been violated. Feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian was threatened with rape, sexual violence and death by Twitter trolls during the Gamergate saga after she criticised the way women are portrayed in video games.

After years of criticism of its handling of online harassment and bullying, Twitter is taking steps to curb online “trolls” and remove offending content. The company won’t, however, ban IP addresses or provide them to law enforcement, except “in response to valid legal requests.” The changes in Twitter’s rules comes only a month after Reddit explicitly banned revenge porn and pledged to remove all images in violation of that new policy.

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