Twitter updates policy after Williams death pics abuse on daughters account

Twitter has moved to update their policy on images posted to family members of the deceased on the social network, after the daughter of Robin Williams was sent gruesome photoshopped images of her late father shortly after his death.

Late on Tuesday, Twitter said it would remove images and videos of the deceased when requested by a direct family member or authorized individuals.

"In order to respect the wishes of loved ones, Twitter will remove imagery of deceased individuals in certain circumstances," said the company in a policy revamp announced on their support page. Twitter said it would consider removal of images of deceased individuals that are taken "from when critical injury occurs to the moments before or after death."

The policy change comes a week after Zelda Williams, the daughter of comedian Robin Williams who died a week ago on Monday, abandoned the network after individuals bombarded her with gruesome photoshopped images of her late father. "Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary," she wrote on Twitter before departing the social network.

Twitter responded by banning at least two accounts responsible for the bulk of the images sent, and said it would update its user-protection policies.

"We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo also made it clear they won't tolerate such behavior in an unrelated incident, involving a beheading of an American journalist by terrorist organization ISIS.

There's a catch though, Twitter said that while reviewing removal requests, it will take into account public interest factors such as the newsworthiness of the content and may not honor all requests.

Source: Washington Post via Cnet | Image: growingsocialmedia

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