Twitter’s updated Terms of Service coming October 2017 – what you need to know

By September 28, 2017

Blog post image 28sep2017.pngOn October 2nd 2017, Twitter will be implementing their updated Terms of Service for those of us living outside the US. Over the past few weeks’ users have been asked to give their approval for the new Terms of Service in order for us to keep using the platform. However, some of the new ‘changes’ have caused uproar in marketing circles, in particular the debate surrounding the ownership of content.

So what are the changes to Twitter’s Terms of Service? Here they are in a nutshell:

The ‘change’ that has received the most publicity, but ultimately isn’t anything new, refers to the fact that any user account (be that a person or business) who posts content to Twitter, gives Twitter and its users the right to share or reproduce that content with a ROYALTY FREE LICENSE. This means that anything that you post to Twitter can be used by anyone, anywhere and you may have no copyright claim to it. This ‘new’ change regarding the ownership of content has created confusion in marketing circles as being able to post content to social platforms and then reproduce or embed it into other places has long been commonplace (for example placing tweets in articles or blogs).

There are a few details, which have been removed which were relevant to the US, and a new European HQ address has been added. Just in case you fancy writing a letter to Twitter their new address can be found here.

The language regarding the removal of content that is in violation of the platform’s users’ agreement has been updated. This is particularly poignant given the current debates surrounding the responsibility for the social media giants to crack down on terror related content. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has urged the Internet firms to ‘go further’ in removing terrorist content within two hours or face fines. The first two hours after terror related content is posted is crucial as this is when two thirds of this information is shared. May also pressed for the networks to work harder in developing new technology to stop content from being posted in the first place. In the last two years Twitter has suspended nearly one million accounts that were related to terror content (three quarters of these had been shut down before a single tweet had been posted).

The new Terms of Service also provide a guarantee (rather than a promise) that for any future updates, 30 days notice would be provided.

But what do these changes mean to your business…to be honest, not a lot

The key things to remember are that when you post your content to social media do so with caution. These are public channels where content can and will be shared beyond your control, so ensuring you have the right procedures in place within your organisation before content is posted is crucial. Steps such as a having a clearly defined social media plan which outlines what content is to be posted, swear dictionaries and the ability to validate content before it goes live, will go a long way in protecting your organisation from any potential social media risks.

If you would like support in shaping your social media strategy, what content you post whilst ensuring your organisation is protected, please don’t hesitate to have a no-obligation chat with one of our Enterprise Social Media Specialists.

The new Terms of Service, which come into effect on October 2, 2017 can be found here.

If you’re interested and want to see the actual changes in Twitter’s updated Terms of Service you can find that here.


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