Distribution of hacked material policy

Overview

March 2019

We don’t condone attempts to compromise or infiltrate computer systems for malicious purposes. As such, we don’t permit the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger, or contains trade secrets. You also may not threaten to hack or break into someone’s digital information or attempt to incentivize others to do so.

Note: Our private information policy covers the sharing of private information without consent, regardless of how the private information was obtained.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under this policy, you can’t directly distribute hacked materials. This includes:

  • posting hacked content on Twitter (e.g., in the text of a Tweet, or in an image); and
  • linking to hacked content hosted on other websites.

You also can’t make threats about hacking, including:

  • threatening to hack or break into someone’s computer systems; 
  • threatening to post hacked materials;
  • attempting to incentivize others to do so (e.g., through setting a bounty or reward on such actions); and
  • offering or agreeing to assist others in doing so.

What is not a violation of this policy?

You can discuss a hack that has taken place (including reporting on a hack, or sharing press coverage of hacking), provided that you don’t include someone’s private information, information that could put people at risk of physical harm or danger; and/or information related to trade secrets.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report the distribution of materials obtained through hacking, whether they have a Twitter account or not. In some cases, we may need to hear directly from the owner of the information being shared (or an authorized representative, such as a lawyer) before taking enforcement action. 

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app

You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. Select Report Tweet from the  icon.
  2. Select It’s abusive or harmful.
  3. Select Includes private information.
  4. Select the type of information that you’re reporting. 
  5. Select the relevant option depending on who owns the information you are reporting.
  6. Select up to 5 Tweets to report for review.
  7. Submit your report.

Desktop

You can report this content for review via desktop as follows:

  1. Select Report Tweet from the  icon.
  2. Select It’s abusive or harmful.
  3. Select Includes private information.
  4. Select the type of information that you’re reporting. 
  5. Select the relevant option depending on who owns the information you are reporting.
  6. Select up to 5 Tweets to report for review.
  7. Submit your report.

You can also report this content for review via our private information report form by selecting the type of private information that you want to report.

What happens if you violate this policy?

Directly distributing hacked materials will result in permanent suspension when:

  • you claim responsibility for the hack;
  • we’re able to reliably attribute a hack to the account sharing that content;
  • an account’s main purpose is to distribute hacked materials; or
  • you engage in repeated distribution of hacked materials, repeated threats to hack, or repeated attempts to incentive hacking.

In other instances, we may lock your account and require you to delete specific Tweets that violate this policy. If you believe that your account was locked or 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.

Learn more about private information and our election integrity efforts.

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