Jim Edwards, the founding editor of Business Insider UK, has been forced to delete a tweet after Bank of America claimed he violated their copyright.
In a post on Business Insider, Edwards said the bank sent him an email informing him that Twitter had deleted two tweets about the bank on the grounds of copyright violation. The bank also claimed they would ensure his entire Twitter account was deleted if he did not comply with the request.
Edwards had posted a picture of a small excerpt of Bank of America analyst Teo Lasarte’s notes to clients, along with a humorous Twitter message suggesting he had developed a “pun-based method for analysing auto stocks.” This was the basis of a DMCA request from Attributor Corporation, a digital rights management company.
Edwards speculated that the company was sending out DMCA notices on behalf of Bank of America en masse, and that his situation was probably down to an error in the system. The email sent to Edwards in fact told him that two tweets had been deleted – but the URL provided for one of them linked to a different Twitter account.
Regardless of where or how the deletion occured, it’s another blow to Twitter’s diminishing credibility as an open platform for free expression from the grassroots. This has been flagging for some time now, with prominent critics of progressivism like Adam Baldwin having their accounts locked over innocent tweets with no explanation from Twitter, automatic content filters installed without users’ consent, and consistent silence from the company on the subject of political bias among its enforcement policies.
For those who already suspect Twitter to be corrupt, news of the ease with which big banks can have journalists’ tweets deleted will do little to improve confidence in the platform. Edwards has appealed the deletion of his tweet through Twitter’s systems, and is currently awaiting a response.