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(Pocket-lint) - If you're thinking of making a meme out of an image or video of someone you've seen on Twitter and reshare it, you may need to think again. The social network has added a new line in its privacy policy that prohibits the sharing of private media without the permission of the subject.

Its private information policy now bans the sharing of "media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted".

This step has been taken to protect the privacy of any unwitting person and/or prevent the misuse of another's image or video: "There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities."

It's a minor splash in the ocean when it comes to making Twitter a safer, friendlier place but it's a start.

Most posts flagged as featuring media shared without permission will be removed once notified. Context will be used, however. For example, if someone is sharing a picture of a friend in distress, it is unlikely that will be taken down.

Twitter will also take into consideration whether the image or video is of public interest - ie. also being covered by traditional media outlets. And, public figures will be exempt if the discourse is also in context and doesn't conflict with the network's guidelines on abusive behaviour.

Writing by Rik Henderson.