Deceased individuals

Overview

March 2019

Sharing images or videos of a deceased individual can cause serious distress to the deceased’s family and can also negatively impact the well-being of others who view this content. Out of respect for the deceased and those impacted by their death, as well as to decrease the impact of unintended exposure to graphic media, we may ask you to remove images and videos that depict the death of an identifiable person. 

If you want to request the deactivation of a deceased person’s account, immediate family members and those authorized to act on behalf of the estate can do so via our privacy form.

What is a violation of this policy?

Under this policy, we may ask you to remove images or videos that were taken at the point of, immediately before, or after someone’s death, if we receive a request from their family or an authorized representative. Sharing excessively gruesome images or videos, or sharing media depicting a deceased individual for sadistic purposes is also not permitted. 

Examples of the type of content that we may action under this policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • images or videos where a reasonably identifiable person is clearly deceased; 
  • images or videos that depicts the murder of an identifiable individual;
  • excessively gruesome media that depicts the death of an identifiable person; and
  • images or videos of an identifiable deceased person, shared for sadistic purposes, including media accompanied by content that:
    • laughs at or otherwise mocks the deceased; and
    • takes pleasure in the suffering of the deceased.

What is not a violation of this policy?

Twitter takes public interest factors into account when reviewing reports related to images and videos that depict deceased individuals. In limited circumstances, we might not remove this media, even on receipt of a valid report, e.g., police shootings or other newsworthy events.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Content reportable by anyone 
We recognize that it can be difficult for those impacted to report this content for review. To reduce the burden on those affected, anyone can report the following types of content:

  • media depicting excessively gruesome content; and
  • media depicting deceased individuals shared for sadistic purposes. 

Content reportable by family members (or authorized representative)
For other types of content that features an identifiable deceased individual, we need to receive a report directly from an immediate family member or authorized representative, e.g., lawyer, to ensure that we have sufficient context before taking any enforcement action. 

How can I report violations of this policy?

You can report this content for review via our private information report form, by selecting the “unauthorized photo or video” option.

What happens if you violate this policy?

We will immediately and permanently suspend any account that is dedicated to sharing media of deceased individuals for sadistic purposes. 

In other cases, we may not suspend an account immediately. This is because some people share this content inadvertently, to express shock, disbelief or to denounce violent events. In these cases, we will require you to remove this content. We may also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Tweet again. If you violate this policy again after a second warning, your account will be permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options and our approach to policy development and enforcement.

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