October 12, 2016
Originally posted 2018-11-19 11:21:22
Twitter has made a significant change in its copyright policy, deciding to “withhold” tweets that receive a copyright complaint. The original tweet will be replaced with a message that reads, “This Tweet from @Username has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.” The message also includes a link to Twitter’s “Copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy” page.
Twitter used to completely delete tweets without explanation, but now users can respond to the tweet in question. Twitter notes on its copyright page the change took place “in an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content.” Twitter has stated it will possibly warn or suspend repeat violators, and in severe cases, permanently remove user accounts.
According to GigaOm, a Twitter spokesperson has stated that tweets in question will be withheld until they get a valid counter-response from the user. Some have criticized this policy, because Twitter’s support page suggests a user does not have to show significant evidence of copyright ownership. This has caused some users to complain that Twitter will censor first and investigate second.
Twitter has stated this system is better than the previous one, where the tweet in question would be deleted without an explanation and manually reposted if the user gave a valid counter-response. For many, the increased transparency is a plus, but the new system does not address the possibility of controversial, but legal, content being censored due to judicial threats.