September 5, 2017Published by: Delia Howe

The Tweeting T&Cs

If, you are anything like me, and logging into Twitter to see an ‘Update to Terms and Conditions’ message pop up doesn’t appeal in the slightest, you’re in luck. Reading new Terms of Service notes, if you even do, is like a game of hide and seek to find what has actually changed, how to interpret the new changes, not to mention did you ever read them before to actually know what has changed? I thought not. Well, the good news is that I’ve read Twitter’s new T&Cs so you don’t have to.

On September 2nd, Twitter announced its new terms of service, and users were not happy. While the new terms won’t actually come into effect until October 2nd, many users have expressed their discontent or rather ‘panic’ because it appears everything is ‘new’ when in reality that is far from the truth.

There are a few things that have changed, and perhaps the most important revolves around trolling and ‘fake news’.

We should start with Twitter’s new address in Ireland. According to The Quint, we shouldn’t worry too much as the same content license we have been agreeing to Twitter about for the past few years hasn’t actually changed. Users agreeing to the new terms grant Twitter license over the content posted on the platform, this facilitates embedding of tweets as well as enabling tweets to appear on TV or broadcast anywhere else.

Next, account termination now includes ‘unlawful conduct’ (think hate speech) and appealing for a terminated account (if you think it was too harsh). Previously, Twitter only removed content if it violated intellectual property guidelines, however, it now includes the right to remove posts that express harassment, impersonation, unlawful and hateful conduct. As part of its new update, the social broadcaster has also begun implementing its 30 day notification period (hence why it notified you on September 2nd for changes effective on October 2nd).

Lastly, the change that isn’t really a change. The change that has induced the most panic amongst tweeters. Twitter now says explicitly that it has total license to use your content. In other words, posting your work on Twitter means signing your rights over that work away. In fact this is not new, and many other social networks have similar terms, Instagram, to name the highest profile. This Twitter term has in fact been around since 2009, so no need for panic here.

As a brand on social media, it’s always important to know where your rights stand, and these new guidelines are there to help you manage, protect and keep your reputation online as well as keep trolls at bay. Click here to read the full Twitter terms of service.

Happy Tweeting!

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