Thursday, September 10, 2009

Twitter Updates Their TOS

Twitter today announced a new terms of service. Twitter founder Biz Stone says the new upgrade to the TOS "more appropriately reflect the nature of Twitter and convey key issues such as ownership. For example, your tweets belong to you, not to Twitter."

Ownership over posts as well as shared materials have been a key topic of debate amongst users of other social networking sites like Facebook. In those cases the sites have claimed ownership of material, including pictures and have used such materials in ways users have thought were inappropriate. In this case Twitter does have similar wording however they expressly add that you retain your rights to any content you submit, post or display on or through the services.

Here are a few highlights from the updated page which can be viewed here.
Advertising—In the Terms, we leave the door open for advertising. We'd like to keep our options open as we've said before.

Ownership—Twitter is allowed to "use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute" your tweets because that's what we do. However, they are your tweets and they belong to you.

APIs—The apps that have grown around the Twitter platform are flourishing and adding value to the ecosystem. You authorize us to make content available via our APIs. We're also working on guidelines for use of the API.

SPAM—Abusive behavior and spam is also outlined in these terms according to the rules we've been operating under for some time.

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