Twitter’s Updated User Agreement Is Unsurprisingly Vague and Arbitrary

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With observers fixated on its tumbling stock price, Twitter has sneaked out a new user agreement. The document is twenty-five pages long and written in legalese, so we at Breitbart Tech have decided to translate its most important elements for ordinary people.

All Content, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such Content. We may not monitor or control the Content posted via the Services and, we cannot take responsibility for such Content.

Translation: we’ll profit from your content, use it to attract new users, and curate the best of it. But if you annoy anyone with access to a lawyer, you’re on your own.

We do not endorse, support, represent or guarantee the completeness, truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any Content or communications posted via the Services or endorse any opinions expressed via the Services. You understand that by using the Services, you may be exposed to Content that might be offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate, or in some cases, postings that have been mislabeled or are otherwise deceptive.

Translation: We’ll develop an ever-expanding list of rules against “harmful behaviour” for good press, and ban a few unfashionable conservative users to appease progressive activists, but don’t expect us to actually enforce our rules. That would cost money.

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non­exclusive, royalty­free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

Translation: You work for us, for free.

You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.

Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services

Translation: You also work for our friends. And you don’t even get a say in how the platform is run!

Please review the Twitter Rules (which are part of these Terms) to better understand what is prohibited on the Twitter Services. We reserve the right at all times (but will not have an obligation) to remove or refuse to distribute any Content on the Services, to suspend or terminate users, and to reclaim usernames without liability to you.

Translation: If we don’t like how you’re working for us, for free, we’ll ban you. We can do this even if you didn’t break any rules.

We also reserve the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as we reasonably believe is necessary to (i) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, (ii) enforce the Terms, including investigation of potential violations hereof, (iii) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, (iv) respond to user support requests, or (v) protect the rights, property or safety of Twitter, its users and the public.

Translation: We’ll give your data to the NSA.

Twitter respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects users of the Services to do the same. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us.

Translation: we’ll protect your intellectual property rights if you’re rich and powerful enough.

Twitter’s rules on “spam” also raises questions. According to Twitter, accounts whose updates “consist primarily of links, not personal updates” are liable to be banned for spam. This places a question mark over accounts like Breitbart’s official @BreitbartNews account, which primarily posts links to Breitbart articles.

Twitter also says it will target accounts that are blocked by a large number of users. Given that social justice warriors on Twitter delight in encouraging their followers to “autoblock” tens of thousands of users at once, this rule is, to say the least, open to abuse.

Needless to say, Twitter has not taken our advice to ditch its bewildering array of arbitrarily-enforced rules and return to its roots. Instead, the platform maintains an ever-growing list of banned behaviours aimed at making its users feel “safe.” Twitter today is a long way from the platform that once acted as a vehicle for radically unsafe movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.

Follow Allum Bokhari @LibertarianBlue on Twitter, and download Milo Alert! for Android to be kept up to date on his latest articles.