Twitter steps up fight against sexual harassment

A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, California on December 21, 2013. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Twitter steps up fight against sexual harassment

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter has announced tough new rules on tweets containing “non-consensual nudity” and sexual harassment, which could be seen as fallout from the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal.
The rules will come into force in the coming weeks, Twitter said in a statement late Tuesday, after company co-founder Jack Dorsey on Friday posted a series of tweets promising policy changes.
The San Francisco-based social media giant will “immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” the statement read.
Twitter defines “non-consensual nudity” as including “content like upskirt imagery, ‘creep shots,’ and hidden camera content.”
Since people appearing in these pictures “often do not know the material exists, we will not require a report from a target in order to remove it,” the statement said.
Twitter said that while it recognizes that there is “an entire genre of pornography dedicated to this type of content, it’s nearly impossible for us to distinguish when this content may/may not have been produced and distributed consensually.
“We would rather error on the side of protecting victims and removing this type of content when we become aware of it,” the statement read.
Twitter also said that sexually charged conversations and the exchange of sexual media will now be “unacceptable,” and promised to take action when such exchanges are reported by participants or by observers.
Twitter’s statement follows an uproar caused by the temporary suspension of the account of Rose McGowan, an actress who says that Weinstein raped her.
The account was suspended after McGowan posted an obscenity directed at actor Ben Affleck, whom she said lied about his ignorance of Weinstein’s history of sexual abuse.
Twitter however said her account was suspended because McGowan broke usage rules by including a personal phone number in a tweet.
Weinstein was fired from his job as co-chairman of The Weinstein Company on October 8, and resigned from the company board of directors on Tuesday.
Some 40 actresses, including stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Mira Sorvino, have come forward saying they were sexually harassed by the Hollywood film producer.
The revelations sparked an avalanche of messages on platforms like Twitter and Facebook from women all over the world, using the hashtag #MeToo to speak out on and condemn experiences of sexual harassment.


Facebook to pay to train local newspaper reporters in UK

Updated 19 November 2018
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Facebook to pay to train local newspaper reporters in UK

  • Facebook is donating 4.5 million pounds ($5.8 million) to train journalists in Britain
  • Around 80 new trainee reporters funded by Facebook will be recruited by several regional publishers

LONDON: Facebook is donating 4.5 million pounds ($5.8 million) to train journalists in Britain to support communities that have lost local newspapers and reporters, in no little part due to ad revenue and readers switching online to the social media giant.
The US company said on Monday it recognized the role it played in how people got their news today and it wanted to do more to support local publishers.
Around 80 new trainee reporters funded by Facebook will be recruited by regional publishers Newsquest, JPIMedia, Reach , Archant and the Midland News Association, in a scheme overseen by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), Facebook said.
The pressure facing print publishers was laid bare on Friday when Britain’s Johnston Press filed for administration and agreed to be bought by its bondholders after it concluded its equity had no value.
Facebook said the two-year pilot — a global first for the platform — did not signal any move to start producing its own news content.