Twitter’s terms of service are making people mad — but they’re not new

Twitter is making some minor changes to its terms of service (ToS) for users outside of the U.S. this October and a lot of people are rather upset about them.

What seems to be the trigger here is that these “new” terms are going into effect for the rest of the world on October 2nd and Twitter is likely notifying its users of this update now. The new ToS takes out a few things specific to the U.S. and adds a new European address. That’s pretty much it, but because most users probably never read the old terms of service, they seem to assume that everything in the “new” terms of services is actually “new.”

The main issue here is over a section where the ToS mention Twitter’s ability to offer up the use of user-generated content and embedded tweets to other companies for promotion and distribution. This would apply to news organizations that may want to broadcast that content during a syndicated show, for instance, or really anybody who wants to embed a tweet.

Twitter user Richard de Nooy first pointed out the issue he had with Twitter’s terms, tweeting, “Your terms of service agreement is un-fucking-believable, Twitter. This is grotesque. Especially for users posting original content.”

Hundreds of other users tweeted back — either in agreement or to point out these terms are pretty normal.

But, as noted by Twitter user Alex Hern, the language here isn’t new. We should also point out news organizations and other companies and individuals can already use content found on the site, as that content is public and is already considered fair use.

Changes that will actually go into effect with these new ToS include changes in the language around the right to remove content that violates Twitter’s user agreement, removal of certain limitations of liability such as Twitter user’s liability in access to “as-is” content that could be damaging and an addition of a 30-day notice of changes to the terms that impact others rights of others (which was previously only a promise).

You can see all the changes, which will go into effect outside of the U.S. at the end of this month here to compare the old terms with the new ones.

If you want to write to Twitter in Europe, by the way, please note that while very little else in the ToS has changed, Twitter’s new address in Dublin is now “The Academy, 42 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.”