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.
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.
I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) August 13, 2014
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.
We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you https://t.co/jaYQBKVbBF
— dick costolo (@dickc) August 20, 2014
Anyone wishing to request the removal of images of a dead loved one should email [email protected]