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.


Kuwaiti presenter suspended for calling colleague ‘handsome’ live on air

Updated 20 May 2018
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Kuwaiti presenter suspended for calling colleague ‘handsome’ live on air

KUWAIT CITY: The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information has decided to suspend a presenter who commended the looks of her male colleague live on air.
A viral Youtube video showed presenter for Kuwait TV Basma Al-Shammar calling her fellow male reporter “mazyoon,” which translates into “the handsome, attractive one” in local dialect.
The male reporter, Nawaf Al-Shiraki, was covering the municipal council elections before he appeared to be adjusting his traditional headwear prior to going on air.
This is when the Al-Shammar alerted him that he was on air, saying: “No need to fix your ghutra, Nawaf, you look handsome!”

The act was considered by some a “flirtation” on the presenter’s part.
However, others wrote on her Twitter feed saying there was nothing wrong with what she said.
A Kuwaiti MP reportedly wrote to the country’s information minister on Twitter saying that such a slip of the tongue should not be tolerated on state television.
A source from Kuwait’s state TV was quoted saying that the anchor had been suspended pending investigation into the incident.