In some circumstances, upon request of the family, Twitter will now delete images of the deceased.
In order for Twitter to act on any specific imagery, a few qualifications must be met. Once an immediate family member of the deceased contacts Twitter with the request, the company will weigh whether or not the images have “public interest factors such as…newsworthiness” before making a decision.
The types of images Twitter is trying to shed are graphic ones related to the actual deaths of individuals – this isn’t about removing all traces of a person’s image from the network.
Twitter specifies by saying “Immediate family members and other authorized individuals may request the removal of images or video of deceased individuals, from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death…” [emphasis mine]
Here’s the full statement, as tweeted out by Twitter’s Nu Wexler:
— Nu Wexler (@wexler) August 19, 2014
This move comes just one week after Zelda Williams, Robin Williams’ daughter, was bullied off Twitter by, for lack of a better word, assholes who tweeted photoshopped images of her father. Twitter promised to work on its anti-abuse policies, specifically saying that would involve “improving support for family members of deceased users.”
Twitter has also been hard at work suspending accounts that have been spreading graphic imagery of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, according to CEO Dick Costolo.
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
Image via Rosaura Ochoa, Flickr Creative Commons