Twitter has made changes to its terms of service that clarify that content belongs to the user.
Following a bad year for Facebook where it was forced to defend itself on several occasions as users debated about the use of personal content, Twitter founder Biz Stone stated that ‘your tweets belong to you, not to Twitter'.
Stone claimed that the revisions ‘more appropriately reflect the nature of Twitter and convey key issues such as ownership' and that he expected some discussion with the revisions.
He claimed that he was leaving ‘the door open for advertising' in order to ‘keep our options open'. He had previously stated that there was no plans to run banner ads but ‘facilitating connections between businesses and individuals in meaningful and relevant ways is compelling'. He claimed in May that he was ‘going to leave the door open for exploration in this area'.
Stone also clarified that Twitter is allowed to ‘use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute' users' tweets but they belong to the user. He further claimed that ‘applications that have grown around the Twitter platform are flourishing and adding value to the ecosystem' and that Twitter was working on guidelines for use of the application programming interface.
Finally no change was made to the abusive behaviour and spam terms that it detailed at the start of the year.
Stone said: “These updates complement the spirit of Twitter. If we've left something out, or the nature of the service changes, then we'll revisit the terms – there's a feedback link on the page. We're in the process of sending an email about the revisions now.
“It's important that everyone who tweets, develops apps, or is simply interested in Twitter understands that it's not about the technology, it's about how we all use the service that matters most.”