Twitter ramps up protections for victims of revenge porn

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In its first policy change since Twitter announced it would take harassment more seriously, the platform announced Friday that it’s increasing its regulation of nonconsensual pornography, or revenge porn.

Twitter said it is expanding the types of content eligible for removal under revenge porn policies, creating harsher penalties for policy violators and developing a more comprehensive review system of the accounts that post nonconsensual pornography.

As the expanded policy on “intimate media” states, Twitter will prohibit sharing nonconsensual photographs including “hidden camera content” involving partial nudity or sex acts; “upskirt” or “creepshot” photos taken secretly showing someone’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts; content taken in a private setting not intended for public distribution; and content considered as “private” under certain laws.

However, erring on the side of caution so as to not remove consensual pornography, Twitter “may require” revenge porn victims or their representation to self-report the content. Twitter then will reply to these reports and ask for identification, which it says will be destroyed after the case is evaluated.

The platform won’t disclose details of the self-report to the policy violator. Because upskirt photos often don’t show the person’s face and make them difficult to identify, Twitter will allow bystanders to report the violating tweets and will not require self-reporting to verify the tweets are nonconsensual.

The expanded consequences for revenge porn posters vary, too. The platform will suspend accounts they identify to be the original poster of nonconsensual pornography, as well as accounts dedicated to posting revenge porn.

However, accounts not believed to be original posters or accounts that have otherwise “clean violation histories” will be temporarily restricted. The account users will be locked out, only able to regain full control of their accounts once they remove the violating content. Repeat offenders will be permanently suspended.

According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to legislating revenge porn and advocating for victims, Twitter first adopted anti-revenge porn policies in 2015.

Twitter’s policy expansion is part of its pledged dedication to responding to harassment on the platform. That was brought on by the women’s boycott that came in light of Twitter issuing Rose McGowan an account restriction for violating the terms of service. McGowan, while addressing the Harvey Weinstein scandal, had tweeted a private phone number and received the penalty, something critics found ironic given Twitter’s notorious lack of mobilization against other legitimate acts of harassment.

H/T Mashable



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