Politics

Another Popular Website Bans Revenge Porn

Maybe, just maybe, the Internet is slowly becoming a more peaceful place. Twitter just added a clause to its Rules page that users "may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent," meaning "revenge porn" is forbidden on the social media platform. This comes shortly after online forum Reddit implemented the same policy for users. It also comes weeks after revenge porn website founder Hunter Moore was indicted on charges of identity theft and federal hacking. 

Though Twitter and Reddit are wildly popular websites to visit, users can, and often do, abuse their freedoms. Last month, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo wrote in an internal email that the company doesn't handle user abuse well, "We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years. It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day."

In the memo, which was obtained by The Verge, Costolo continued to beat himself up for the seemingly out of control problem of user abuse, "I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It's absurd. There's no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody else's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."

Twitter can be a really scary place, especially if you're female. Though not all female users are threatened with or victims of revenge porn, many women receive death and rape threats on Twitter, and the company doesn't always protect them. When Feminist Jessica Valenti dared tweet about subsidized tampons last summer, a slew of Twitter users fired vitriol in her direction. One particularly gross and unnecessary tweet was this:

Because Twitter doesn't have a rule against mean tweeting, this type of behavior continues to exist on the site. The ban on revenge porn and Costolo's email show that Twitter cares about making its online space safer for women, but given the amount of threats and hostility females still face on the platform, particularly if they're journalists, the work is nowhere near over.