CEO Dick Costolo recently acknowledged that Twitter “sucks” when it comes to tackling online trolls. The privacy section of the site now contains new rules which read: “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent,” writes Claire Cohen for The Telegraph.

Twitter DM

Twitter following Reddit’s example

Those who find explicit material of themselves will have to verify their identity and prove that they did not authorize that it be shared publicly. To prevent unauthorized sharing, new Twitter tools ban users from uploading personal information, videos or photos of someone else.

To deter users from uploading explicit material without permission, those found to be doing so will have their accounts locked until the offending information is deleted, while repeat offenders will have their accounts suspended. Twitter is following in the footsteps of Reddit, which updated its own rules on revenge porn earlier this year.

Reddit was responding to the leak of nude celebrity photos posted on its forums, after public figures criticized the amount of time it took the site to remove the explicit material. Jennifer Lawrence claimed that the act constituted a “sex crime.”

The site is now committed to removing naked images or videos of anyone engaged in sexual acts if the person featured in the content has not given their consent for the material to be made public.

User protection of paramount importance

New government legislation in England and Wales makes it illegal to post revenge porn. Those found to be distributing explicit content without consent can now be punished by a jail term of up to 2 years. According to the law, revenge porn is: “photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public”.

Twitter is continuing to explore product solutions to allow us to act faster and more efficiently to protect our users,” stated a spokesperson.

The social network has come under fire for the ease with which new accounts can be created by banned users under different names, and some critics are skeptical as to whether the new rules will have any real impact.