Sensitive media policy

Overview

March 2019

You may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video or in profile or header images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted.

People use Twitter to show what’s happening in the world, often sharing images and videos as part of the conversation. Sometimes, this media can depict sensitive topics, including violent and adult content. We recognize that some people may not want to be exposed to sensitive content, which is why we balance allowing people to share this type of media with helping people who want to avoid it to do so. 

For this reason, you can’t include violent, hateful, or adult content within areas that are highly visible on Twitter, including in live video, profile or header images. If you share this content within Tweets, you need to mark your account as sensitive. Doing so places images and videos behind an interstitial (or warning message), that needs to be acknowledged before your media can be viewed. Using this feature means that people who don’t want to see sensitive media can avoid it, or make an informed decision before they choose to view it. 

Under this policy, there are also some types of sensitive media content that we don’t allow at all, because they have the potential to normalize violence and cause distress to those who view them. 

We group sensitive media content into the following categories: 

Graphic violence
Graphic violence is any media that depicts death, violence, medical procedures, or serious physical injury in graphic detail. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • violent crimes or accidents; 
  • physical fights;
  • physical child abuse;
  • bodily fluids including blood, feces, semen etc.;
  • serious physical harm, including visible wounds; and
  • severely injured or mutilated animals. 

Note: exceptions may be made for documentary or educational content. 

Adult content
Adult content is any consensually produced and distributed media that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • full or partial nudity, including close-ups of genitals, buttocks, or breasts (excluding content related to breastfeeding);
  • simulated sexual acts; and
  • sexual intercourse or other sexual acts – this also applies to cartoons, hentai, or anime involving humans or depictions of animals with human-like features.

Note: exceptions may be made for artistic, medical, health, or educational content. 

For content that was created or distributed without the consent of those featured, please refer to our non-consensual nudity policy

Violent sexual conduct
Violent sexual conduct is any media that depicts violence, whether real or simulated, in association with sexual acts. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • rape and other forms of violent sexual assault, or sexual acts that occur without the consent of participants, including a simulated lack of consent; and
  • sexualized violence – inflicting physical harm on an individual within an intimate setting, where it is not immediately obvious if those involved have consented to take part.

Gratuitous gore
Gratuitous gore is any media that depicts excessively graphic or gruesome content related to death, violence or severe physical harm, or violent content that is shared for sadistic purposes. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • dismembered or mutilated humans;
  • charred or burned human remains;
  • exposed internal organs or bones; and
  • animal torture or killing. Note: exceptions may be made for religious sacrifice, food preparation or processing, and hunting. 

Hateful imagery
Hateful imagery is any logo, symbol, or image that has the intention to promote hostility against people on the basis of race, religious affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or ethnicity/national origin. Some examples of hateful imagery include, but are not limited to:

  • symbols historically associated with hate groups, e.g., the Nazi swastika;
  • images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features; or
  • images altered to include hateful symbols or references to a mass murder that targeted a protected category, e.g., manipulating images of individuals to include yellow Star of David badges, in reference to the Holocaust.

What is in violation of this policy?

Our aim is to limit exposure to sensitive images and videos and to prevent the sharing of potentially disturbing types of sensitive media. For this reason, we differentiate our enforcement approach depending on the type of media that has been shared and where it has been shared. 

Graphic violence, adult content, and hateful imagery

  • you can’t target people with unsolicited images or videos that contain graphic violence, adult content, or hateful imagery; and
  • you can’t include graphic violence, adult content, or hateful imagery within live video, profile, or header images.

Violent sexual conduct and gratuitous gore
We prohibit violent sexual conduct to prevent the normalization of sexual assault and non-consensual violence associated with sexual acts. We prohibit gratuitous gore content because research has shown that repeated exposure to violent content online may negatively impact an individual’s wellbeing. For these reasons, you can’t share images or videos that depict violent sexual conduct or gratuitous gore on Twitter. Note: very limited exceptions may be made for gory media associated with newsworthy events. 

What is not a violation of this policy?

You can share graphic violence and consensually produced adult content within your Tweets, provided that you mark this media as sensitive. We may also allow limited sharing of hateful imagery, provided that it is not used to promote a terrorist or violent extremist group, that you mark this content as sensitive and don’t target it at an individual (via mentioning someone or including an identifiable individual within such images). 

To mark your media as sensitive, navigate to your safety settings and select the Mark media you Tweet as containing material that may be sensitive option. If you don’t mark your media as sensitive, we will do so manually if your content is reported for review. 

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report potential violations of this policy via our dedicated reporting flows. 

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 displays a sensitive image.

Desktop

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

  1. Select Report Tweet from the  icon.
  2. Select It displays a sensitive image

What happens if you violate this policy?

The enforcement action we take depends on the type of media you have shared, and where you have shared it. 

Graphic violence, adult content, and hateful imagery

  • live video and profile images – the first time you violate this policy, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Tweet again. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended; 
  • sending someone unsolicited violent or adult content – if you target someone with sensitive media in a clearly abusive or unsolicited way, we’ll require you to remove it under our abusive behavior policy; and 
  • accounts dedicated to posting sensitive media – your account may be permanently suspended if the majority of your activity on Twitter is sharing sensitive media. 

If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Violent sexual conduct and gratuitous gore

  • if you share media that depicts violent sexual conduct or gratuitous gore anywhere on Twitter, we will require you to remove this content. 
  • if your account is dedicated to posting this type of content, your account will be immediately 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.

Adult content that was created or shared without the consent of those depicted is reviewed under our non-consensual nudity policy.

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