More specifically, The Twitter Rules now includes the following language in its section on private information: “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.”
Along with this announcement, Twitter issued answers to questions BuzzFeed News previously asked Reddit. Highlights of Twitter’s answers include the following:
- Twitter users can report potential revenge porn issues through its standard reporting. process, rather than needing to file Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests;
- Twitter users that report a violation will be asked to verify they are “the individual in question” appearing in the potentially policy-violating content, and he or she will be asked to confirm that the photo or video in which he or she appears was posted to Twitter without consent; and
- Twitter will continue to provide user information such as IP addresses in response to valid legal process.
Perhaps most notably, Twitter states: “Content that is identified as violating our policy will be hidden from public view and users posting it will have their accounts locked; those users will be required to delete the content in question before being able to return to the platform. Users posting such content with an intent to harass will be subject to suspension from Twitter.”
Reddit, meanwhile, also does not require a DMCA request (but said such requests are “easier” for the website to handle); it will similarly not release private user information without the proper legal request (i.e. a subpoena); and users must also notify Reddit of a potential violation, as opposed to the website’s administrators “policing” the content.
The main difference is that the penalty for publishing revenge porn on Reddit is that the post will be removed; contrary to Twitter’s new policy, only if a Reddit user “become[s] a chronic abuser” of its revenge porn policy and repeatedly breaks Reddit’s rules may his or her account be affected.
“Overdue” and “necessary” are some of the words being used to describe these policies changes on Twitter and Reddit. Revenge porn (and other involuntary postings) has become a significant problem, such that more than a dozen states have already passed laws banning it.
In recent months, there have been convictions under the new California law, while the FTC has also cracked down on the distribution of nude photos and videos without their subjects’ consent.