Twitter’s policy regarding pictures showing blood is getting a revision after it led to the suspension of a Republican senator’s account.
Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-Mont.) updated his profile picture and changed it to a hunting picture with his wife.
But the picture violated the platform’s sensitive media policy, which states, “You may not post media that is graphic or share violent or adult nudity and sexual behavior within live video or in profile header, List banner images, or Community cover photos. Media depicting excessively gory content, sexual violence and/or assault, bestiality or necrophilia is also not permitted.”
Mediaite reports Daines’ profile picture was taken down. The bio section and all of his tweets were replaced with a message stating, “[Daines’] account is temporarily unavailable because it violates the Twitter Media policy.”
The incident sparked outrage among Republicans on Monday night.
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) shared Daines’ picture on Twitter and wrote, “This is the family photo that got [Daines] put in twitter jail. Stop censoring our Montana way of life!”
— Ryan Zinke (@RyanZinke) February 7, 2023
And on Tuesday, conservative strategist Matt Mackowiak wrote, “U.S. Senator suspended from [Twitter] due to cover photo showing his wife and him hunting. This is insane.”
He tagged Musk in the tweet.
Hours later, the billionaire replied, “This is being fixed. Policy against showing blood in profile pic is being amended to ‘clearly showing blood without clicking on the profile pic.'”
“The intent is to avoid people being forced to see gruesome profile pics,” he added.
This is being fixed. Policy against showing blood in profile pic is being amended to “clearly showing blood without clicking on the profile pic”.
The intent is to avoid people being forced to see gruesome profile pics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2023
Those who are against hunting might find the picture grotesque. And even people who are not against hunting might be unsettled by seeing an animal with specks of blood on it. But the picture was not gruesome. In fact, it is hard to tell there is blood in the photo unless you click on it to enlarge it.
It was not as though there were pools of blood with Daines and his wife standing over it like ancient hunters celebrating their kill.
By contrast, another user highlighted several other users with dead animals in their profile pictures. One of the pictures showed a roasted pig with sunglasses on and a beer bottle in its mouth.
Twitter is a private company, and it can decide it does not want people to have blood in its profile pictures if it wants to.
So it is nice to see Twitter adjusting its policies. But the initial response to block every tweet from a sitting U.S. senator was creepy.
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