Twitter Commits to Remove Photos of Dead People upon Family’s Request
News about an American photo journalist that was reportedly beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorist group rocked not just the nation but the whole world this week. The videos that spread online showed James Foley forcibly denouncing the US government for its military operations in Iraq.
The video of the supposed beheading has already been removed on video sharing site YouTube. But still photos of his supposed beheaded body spread on Twitter. Many users were shocked when previews of those images were inevitably shown on their Twitter stream.
A number of users of the microblogging site have asked other Twitter users to ask their followers to refrain from re-tweeting those disturbing photos. According to them, the spread of the images is what ISIS actually intends.
Respect for the family
As a timely measure, Twitter has recently promised to remove images or photos of the deceased, as a form of respect to their memories. In a statement, the Website said it will respect the wishes of dead people’s loved ones to delete those images.
However, only the deceased’s immediate family as well as other authorized individuals can formally ask for the removal of those images. The action would cover photos taken during the critical injury as well as those taken prior or after death.
Those who need to send removal requests must reach Twitter through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. However, the social networking site also clarified that it may opt not to honor requests in cases wherein photos are of public interest or are newsworthy.
Robin Williams’ death
This action also comes a week following the controversial death of actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide amid depression. His daughter Zelda temporarily stopped checking her Twitter account after she was offended by some tweets that portray her father in a negative way.
She was particularly offended when some Twitter users tweeted jokes that say that Williams sends flocks of pigeons to scatter their wastes on the surfaces of parked cars. In a statement, she hinted that while Williams would surely laugh about it if he were still alive, those messages were still insensitive for her.
To accommodate Zelda’s request, Twitter suspended several accounts in its network that tweeted and re-tweeted those messages. The online site also assured Zelda that it would crack down on similar offensive tweets. Thus, you may rest assured that from now on, you won’t accidentally see sensitive and compromising images of dead people on your own Twitter stream.