Under the new policy of Twitter, the social media giant will restrict the publication of people’s private information which includes addresses, phone numbers, identity documents and even medical records.
They also said that they have added “private media” to the list, as the sharing of such material could be used to “harass, intimidate and reveal the identities of individuals.”
“Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm,” the company said.
“The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities,” it added.
Before removing the image or video, Twitter said it would need a first-hand report or a report from an authorised representative to determine whether the person consented to it being shared.
Twitter claimed that once it determined that personal information had been released without authorization, it would delete it from the platform.
The policy modifications, it stated, do not apply when the public interest is at issue or when there is an emergency crisis.
“This policy is not applicable to media featuring public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweet text are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse,” the company said.
“We recognise that there are instances where account holders may share images or videos of private individuals in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation, such as in the aftermath of a violent event, or as part of a newsworthy event due to public interest value, and this might outweigh the safety risks to a person,” it added.
Users have criticised the new regulations, which went into force internationally on Tuesday, claiming that they were too abrupt and could lead to unfair censorship.
In a series of tweets, the firm detailed the changes, saying that photographs and videos of public events such as huge protests and sporting events would mostly not be in violation of the policy.
“Context matters. Our existing private information policy includes many exceptions in order to enable robust reporting on newsworthy events and conversations that are in the public interest,” the company said.