Twitter will now allow family members or authorized individuals to request that certain pictures and videos of deceased individuals are removed from the social networking service. As clarified in a policy update, Twitter says it will consider media removal requests sent to email@example.com in order to respect the wishes of loved ones of the deceased, "from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death."
The move comes a week after Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, was driven from Twitter by a barrage of abuse, including pictures depicting her father after his death. Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, Del Harvey, said the company would evaluate how it could further improve its policies after Williams shut down her account, but stopped short of explaining what changes that evaluation might bring. While the social networking service has been happy to change other elements of its functionality recently, it has come under fire for being slow to respond to harassment, abuse, and threats aimed at some of its users.
Twitter says it may not be able to honor every request
The ability to request that disturbing images of a departed loved one aren't thrust into your timeline is a small positive change in response to such criticisms, but Twitter says it won't necessarily scrub the pictures if it thinks they could be interesting to others. The social network's support page says "Twitter considers public interest factors such as the newsworthiness of the content and may not be able to honor every request."