Every Twitter user has been or will soon be asked to give their approval to a new terms of service agreement in order to continue using Twitter. Few people ever actually read into the details of the updated terms though, and some have been shocked by what's included.
One of the biggest changes will actually have next to no impact for the vast majority of users. That is that the news terms will come into effect immediately in the US, whilst for those outside the US they will come into force on 2nd October 2017. The company has set up a new office in Europe which has helped them to distinguish between the two. At present, there will be no other significant difference in terms depending on location, but it may be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Much of the outrage into the new terms has come from the licensing arrangements. The terms of service state that once a user, whether that is a personal account or a business account, shares content on Twitter, they are giving Twitter the right to share and reproduce that content with a royalty free license. Effectively, anything you post on Twitter can be used by anyone, anywhere and you may have no copyright claim to it.
In truth, experts have been confused by the reaction, explaining that this section of the terms of service has not changed at all in the new update. Whilst it may have garnered more publicity, there is no clear difference between the terms in this new agreement and the existing ones. It is in fact a common policy for social media platforms which allow content to be embedded or reproduced in other places, such as you can by placing tweets in an article on a blog or the like.
So, what has changed? Not a lot. One of the key changes has been around the language used regarding the removal of content that is in violation of the platform's user agreement. Another significant change has been regarding future updates regarding the terms of service agreement, which now guarantees, rather than simply promising, notification of any changes 30 days in advance.
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