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Twitter to suspend accounts involved in revenge porn


After last year’s major fiasco, ‘The Fappening‘, Twitter woke up to the risk to its reputation as a safe microblogging website. Awareness of that risk has now driven Twitter to the very important and long due step of improving its policy and terms of service to prevent account holders from resorting to ‘revenge porn’ uploads.twitter_primary-100042755-gallery

Last year a 4chan user had hacked into the iCloud accounts of many celebrities and had stolen their photos, many of which were images that included intimate areas as well. This had led to a severe criticism of Twitter as it could not do anything to prevent the upload of such photos. It was also criticized for not being safe enough to prevent online harassment and cyber bullying.

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These criticisms even led the current CEO Dick Costolo to admit to Twitter’s employees in a memo that was leaked last month that Twitter sucked at prevention of abuse. Dick had said, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.”

The new rules do not beat around the bush and clearly and explicitly mention that, “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.” This new addition has been made available under the section ‘Private Information’. Twitter’s abusive behavior policy was also updated under the heading, ‘Threats and abuse’ with the following term, “In addition, users may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed with the subject’s consent”.

These changes have been implemented with immediate effect and any user found to be in violation of these terms will find their accounts locked. Twitter also stated that it will not hesitate at suspending accounts of users who indulge in such malpractices with the intent to harass someone. This new development comes at the back of another similar updating to terms of use of the popular crowd sourced website, ‘Reddit’.

However, the effectiveness of such changes is still open for debate. A person who is the subject of harassment may find it very circuitous a procedure to first discover the existence of intimate photos of him/her, and then to report the photos, and then to identify himself/herself as the person who is in those photos and only then to have twitter work on removing the content. By this time, the original uploader may create several new accounts to continue the harassment. Banning or closing accounts on the internet is akin to a game of ‘whack-a-mole’, because when you hit in one slot, the mole will appear in another.

Despite the limitations of internet websites, such an update in use policy signifies the seriousness of Twitter’s intent towards protection of privacy of its users.

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About Sara Rose

rose@thenextdigit.com'
She has spent the past 4 years playing the role of an IT consultant, and has now joined The Next Digit as a full time blogger. Her current profession is a result of her deep experience in computer gadgets, laptops, gaming accessories and other tech updates.

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