Twitter prohibits sharing private photos & videos of others without their consent

To decide whether the media is in violation of the policy, Twitter will "assess the context in which the content is shared".

Alfie Kwa | December 02, 2021, 03:11 PM

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Twitter announced on Nov. 30 that they will not allow the sharing of "private media", such as images or videos, of individuals without their consent.

Users can now report a photo or video and Twitter will review the particular media before enforcement action is taken.

What types of media are likely to be an exception?

According to Twitter, the policy update is intended to:

"Curb the misuse of media to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of private individuals, which disproportionately impacts women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities."

However, Twitter said that they will always try to "assess the context in which the content is shared", and in some cases, it may be allowed to remain.

Some considerations and contexts outlining when the media may be permitted include:

  • Images or videos showing people participating in public events (e.g. large scale protests or sporting events)
  • If the media is publicly available and covered by mainstream media
  • If the individual in the media is a public figure
  • The media and the accompanying tweet text add value to public discourse or are shared in the public interest

Why is Twitter doing this?

“Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm,” said Twitter in a blog.

If misused, personal media posted online can affect the community and the people involved.


While tweeting images is a big part of Twitter, the platform said: "People should have a choice in determining whether or not a photo is shared publicly."

This new update will be added to their current private information policy, which does not allow the dissemination of private information on the platform without permission. This includes home addresses, identification documents and contact information.

If a Twitter user violates the policy, they will be required to remove the content and their account will be temporarily locked.

Others can report violations through their Twitter accounts.

Changes within Twitter

This comes after chief executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter faced inquiries from U.S lawmakers in March this year about their handling of misinformation and online extremism.

One issue brought up was how easily anti-vaccination content could be found on the platform, CNN reported.

The new update also comes after co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey shared that he is stepping down on Nov. 29.

Parag Agrawal who was previously Twitter’s chief technology officer will be taking over his role as CEO.

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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.