Twitter is expanding the scope of its private information policy to include “private media.”

With this update, the platform will now restrict users from sharing the media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.

Under its existing policy, it prohibits users from publishing other people's private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs.

This also includes threatening to expose private information or incentivising others to do so.

"There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals," the social media major said in a blog post.

"Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. 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.

The platform will now take action in line with its range of enforcement options when it will receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorised private media.

"When private information or media has been shared on Twitter, we need a first-person report or a report from an authorised representative in order to make the determination that the image or video has been shared without their permission," it explained.

When it is notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, it will remove it.

Not applicable to public figures

The policy will not be 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.

"However, if the purpose of the dissemination of private images of public figures or individuals who are part of public conversations is to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence them, we may remove the content in line with our policy against abusive behavior," it said.

"Similarly, private nude images of public individuals will continue to be actioned under our non-consensual nudity policy," it further added.

The platform further added that it will assess the context in which private media is shared.

"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 said.

"We will always try to assess the context in which the content is shared and, in such cases, we may allow the images or videos to remain on the service," it further added.