Twitter bans beheading video, lets family members remove death photos

Photos and videos of people who have died can now be removed from Twitter at the request of their families and executors of their estate, but only in certain circumstances.

Twitter bans beheading video, lets family members remove death photos

In a notice outlining the change in its terms of service, the company said those authorised to act on behalf of the dead person “may request the removal of images or video of deceased individuals, from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death”.

However, simply making the request will not guarantee the offending media will be removed. Twitter said it will take public interest such as newsworthiness into account before making a decision and “may not be able to honour every request”.

Terrorists and trolls

Twitter’s decision to revise its terms and conditions comes in the wake of two notable incidents that have taken place over the past week.

When Robin Williams committed suicide on 11 August, his daughter Zelda was bombarded with gruesome, photoshopped images of her late father, leading her to abandon the platform altogether two days later.

Then, last night, images and videos of the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State started appearing on Twitter, as well as other social media sites, leading the White House to demand their removal.

CEO Dick Costolo said the organisation was working to remove the images as quickly as possible.

Anyone wishing to request the removal of images of a dead loved one should email [email protected]

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