Twitter And The Dick Pic Problem
Hello everybody. Regular readers to my blog might know that my blog posts are often inspired by things I see on twitter. However I don’t think they, or I for that matter would ever have guessed I would one day write a post inspired by a Twitter dick pic!
To explain the origins of this post I’ll have to explain what happened one Monday morning in Twitterland. Make yourself comfortable and I’ll tell you all about The Day Of Dave……
Once upon a time in Twitterland there was a beautiful fairy called Becky. Becky loved to spread joy and positivity where ever she went. One Monday Morning Becky started a Happy Monday thread on Twitter. All her Twitter friends were having a jolly good chat when along came Dave The Troll.
Dave was a rather silly troll who decided to disrupt things by dumping a rather pathetic dick pic into the thread. He asked Becky and her friends to rate his dick pic.
Now on a different day this request might have been ignored, but on that Monday there were a bunch of naughty little Pixies on Twitter called Hazel, Tracey, Julie and Bry.
The pixies decided to tell Dave The Troll exactly what they thought of his little mushroom dick. They had great fun all day laughing at Dave. They laughed so much tears fell from their eyes and they may have even wee’d a bit.
Some other members of Twitterland however did not find Dave and his dick so funny. These wise and sensible twitter folk pointed out that it was naughty of Dave to try upsetting people with his pictures. They suggested the good folk of Twitter should appeal to the Twitter Gods to get Dave sent away. The Pixies agreed Dave was naughty and along with the wise sensible folk they asked the Twitter Gods to deal with Dave. Dave The Troll was banished from Twitterland and everybody lived happily ever after. The End…..
Except this dick pic story didn’t have a happy ever after ending….
Dave was reported by several people on Monday evening for sending unsolicited dick pics, some of which showed him potentially self harming. He was suspended from his Twitter account the next day, but it took him all of 5 minutes to set up a new account and begin his silly games again.
Now personally I’ve a very liberal attitude to pictures of naked bodies. I’ve worked in care 20 yrs, and am use to seeing naked bodies when carrying intimate care tasks. Dicks, tits, arses etc are just parts of the body. Dave might as well have asked me to rate his nose.
However some serious points were raised in the days following. These conversations led to me wondering if Twitter rules on dick pics are really fit for purpose?
Some people expressed surprised that Dave could get away with sharing his dick pic. They were more surprised when I shared with them the Twitter rules on nudity and other sensitive material.
What are Twitter rules on dick pics and porn?
Unlike other social media platforms Twitter doesn’t ban nudes, and porn. They say self-expression and creativity is an acceptable part of Twitter and something they allow. However people sharing sensitive material should tick the box on their settings to say they are sharing sensitive material. They ban sensitive material for profile or header pics and ban anything that is illegal.
People who don’t want to see dick pics or porn can then filter sensitive material. The downfall is people like Dave don’t mark their pictures as sensitive because they want people to see them.
People using sensitive material in ways designed to upset others can be reported to Twitter. People can be asked to remove pictures and can have their account suspended or deleted. They may set up new accounts, but repeat offenders can have their IP address blocked. I ran a number of polls last week to find out what people thought of these rules.
I was quite surprised at the results of the first poll given the numbers of people who had expressed concern about the pics.
Children on Twitter
Further chat about the first poll revealed many people were not offended by nudity per se but concerned that two issues. The first being that minors may see it. The age at which someone can have a twitter account at the moment is 13. It was argued that if Twitter is accepting of adult material then possibly it should be restricting its users to just adults.
I have to confess the results of this poll annoy me because they add up to 101%. However about 70% of people who responded would like to see the age limit raised to either 16 or 18. The people who responded ‘other’ generally pointed out that no age limit can be strictly enforced. The only way Twitter could do that would be to have some sort of ID verification, but that would remove the anonymity aspect of Twitter.
Not Safe For Work Pictures
The other issue people identified with the current Twitter system is the way pictures are marked as sensitive. Currently there’s an option on Peoples settings where they can mark pictures and videos as sensitive. This however is a general setting thay applies to all an accounts material. Many people who usually don’t share sensitive pictures would not necessarily think to use it. A Possible alternative to this system would be for users to rate each pic as safe or not safe for work prior to adding them. The same system is used on stumbleupon. This would still require people to be honest about the content of their pictures However strong penalties such as deletion of accounts and banning IP addresses that wrongly rate their material would help.
The majority of people who responded would prefer individual pictures to be rated.
The issue of dick pics and porn on Twitter is not one that’s easily solved. Whatever approach is used it can’t 100% prevent sensitive material from being seen by people who select not to see it. Twitter can can only react to pictures once they have been posted. (it would be impossible for Twitter to check every picture before it was uploaded). However changes could be made to the rules that would help reduce the risk of sensitive material being seen by people who shouldn’t or simply don’t want to see it.
What do you think about the issue of nudes, dick pics and porn on Twitter? Would you support an adult only Twitter? Or stronger ratings on pictures?
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