Personal Rights On Twitter

Last fall, Twitter announced that it would ban posting pictures or videos featuring private individuals. The aim of this new user policy is to incentivize avoiding sexual harassment and/or invasions of privacy by empowering its victims with an efficient online remedy for removal. Noting that, the misuse of private media can lead to emotional or even physical harm, Twitter has an evaluation process published for each complaint that is filed. One exception are those regarded as “public persons,” or celebrities or otherwise in the public eye and therefore information on these parties may be viewed as contributing to the wider discourse on matters of public interest and therefore not subject to the same privacy restrictions.

One matter which may have received coverage on Twitter is the controversy arising between Cardi B and Kevin Brophy, Jr., who was made a “public person” involuntarily when an image allegedly copying his back art was captured in a music video featuring Cardi B and Mr. Brophy in a sexual position. Mr. Brophy sued Cardi B and the case appears to have proceeded to trial as recently as February in California court. The chief issue will be determining whether there is a sufficient basis to find the depiction in the video of the back art violated Mr. Brophy’s rights to privacy and to his person, there being both a privacy interest and a commercial interest in the use of the alleged artwork for the alleged music video portrayal of him.

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