Twitter's 'new' terms of service lead to panic among users of the site

The terms are intended as a way of letting Twitter embed things – but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be worried

Andrew Griffin
Monday 04 September 2017 15:17
Comments

Twitter's new terms of service have prompted outrage across the internet.

But the conditions aren't actually new, and have been part of the site for some time. They appear to have resurfaced because Twitter did change its terms and conditions – but not in the way they're being criticsed for now.

The part of the terms that is being focused on for now allows Twitter to make content that is posted on Twitter "available to other companies, organizations or individuals" who can then re-publish it. Twitter can do that without paying the person for the content they've uploaded, it makes clear.

Those clauses are thought to be added to make it possible for the site to support things like the embedding of tweets, or their inclusion in TV broadcasts and elsewhere. Twitter isn't known to have sold – in the traditional sense of the world – any content that was posted on the site.

The controversial terms were noticed by Twitter user Richard de Nooy, apparently because the site is warning its users to have a look at its new terms of service as part of a change. He called them "grotesque" and tweeted a screengrab of them, leading more than a thousand people to retweet it. (His original tweet is embedded below – it's this kind of embed that Twitter's terms are intended to protect.)

The new terms will go into effect for people outside of the US at the end of this month. As part of that, it is showing a pop-up to all affected users that warns them to take a look at the new terms and asks them to agree with them, or delete their account of they don't.

The changes actually cover parts that cover rules like how Twitter can delete posts that violate its rules, and a commitment to warn users 30 days before any changes that impact the rights of other users.

But it does also make reference to people's content, in a way that Mr de Nooy's criticism suggests. It has removed, for instance, a part of the terms that said that "Twitter respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects users of the service to do the same", replacing it with a passage that simply allows Twitter to remove anything that's in violation of its user agreement.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in