Twitter - www.twitter.com


Contract Title Twitter
Contract Website www.twitter.com
Contract Application Twitter phone app and website
Contract Type app with website
Contract Date 10/02/2017
TOS Website twitter.com/en/tos
Total Rating 62.22

Total Page Count 35

Terms: 17 pages; Privacy: 12 pages; Twitter Rules: 6 pages. THIRTY FIVE PAGES? That's wholly overkill and unnecessary.


The Right to Privacy 1 out of 5

General info: location info shared.

BAD ASPECTS: They do not support 'do not track' signals. They log your search terms. They collect less data from the EU or EFTA states--why not less info from everyone? They disclose too much info too quickly to law enforcement without a subpoena--a mere government request is sufficient, which is not cool. If you send a direct message to someone who accesses twitter through a 3rd party service, that direct message also goes to that third party service, which is pretty creepy. You can tweet under an anonymous pseudonym--seems like this is a recipe for abuse. It's not clear how they keep track of 'anonymous accounts'. There is a link to 'standard terms' which is confusing. If you email them, they keep the content of your message (which I guess is normal, but it's weird to see that in writing). They talk about periscope, but never define it. I think I know what it is, but I had no idea Twitter owned it (if it is in fact the same periscope). Your info is shared with third parties for advertising. The link to their corporate affiliates requires you to leave the TOS--it should be within the TOS. Even after you delete your account, all your public tweets may be retained by search engines. No email address (or hard to find). Doesn't clearly address account recovery and the cell phone porting problem.

GOOD ASPECTS: They do NOT look at the content of your direct messages, for any reason, ever (so they say). Very good upfront page 1 disclosure in bullet points. But could be even better. You can have multiple accounts for different parts of your identity. You can opt-out of ads at optout.aboutads.info. Log data is only kept for 18 months.


The Right to Equal, Fair, & Reasonable Expression 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: They say in the Twitter Rules (which are legally part of the TOS), "we believe that everyone should have the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers." And yet, according to the TOS (which are conveniently separate from the Twitter Rules), they can arbitrarily require you to delete content, limit your ability to post, and permanently suspend your account, without any requirement to give you a reason. So, in other words, you can create and share ideas and information without barriers... except when they don't like your ideas, don't want people to access your information, and when they decide to put up arbitrary barriers. So that entire statement in the Twitter Rules is a bunch of hogwash because the TOS legally contradicts it. There is a link to a 'trending policy' linking you out of the TOS. They will not tolerate abusive behavior, and yet, do not define how they determine that type of behavior. It seems that just because someone makes a report, you can be censored or blocked or deleted. Their definition of 'violence' is too broad. They consider 'abuse' to be 'an attempt to silence someone else's voice', but it happens ALL THE TIME with unequal enforcement, and appears to be selectively and arbitrarily enforced. 'Unwanted sexual advances' are grounds to be removed, but again, how is that defined? How is 'hateful comments' defined? These are subjective words that need an objective definition and non-arbitrary definition. There needs to be clear definitions throughout this TOS, but better than that, also a clear policy that treats everyone fairly.

GOOD ASPECTS: None.


The Right to Control My Intellectual Property 2 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Trademark policy unclear; same for copyright. Requires clicking to other documents. They reserve the right to remove any alleged IP violation without notice, at their sole discretion, without liability. Not cool--they should verify and at least get your input before deleting something that may in fact belong to you. You give them a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license with rights to sublicense with NO RESTRICTION. That last part is not cool.

GOOD ASPECTS: "What's yours is yours." But that statement isn't really true, because you are giving up a huge license to them. A better phrase would be "What's yours is yours until you sign this agreement, at which point, we can use everything you post and send for any purpose whatsoever, without your permission, and you won't be able to do anything about it." Anytime there is a license involved, it's a bit laughable to say "what's your is yours". Um, no, not anymore, once you use our service.


The Right to Sue 2 out of 5

California Law. Venue is San Francisco County, California.

BAD ASPECTS: Venue is unfair. United States user liability appears to be limited more than the EU or non-USA users--should be the same. Venue for non-USA users is Ireland. Recovery is severely limited to either no liability or up to $100.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can sue.


The Right to Low-Cost Arbitration 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: Allows arbitration, and it is not forced. Good.

BAD ASPECTS: Venue is terribly unfair. Liability is either none, or up to $100. Either way, not much, not cool.


The Right to Join a Class Action 5 out of 5

Doesn't appear to be waived. Good.


The Right to No Hidden Terms or Fees 2 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Too long. Too many parts of the agreement. All the dates are messed up and conflicting, so basically, all the terms are hidden.

GOOD ASPECTS: No monetary cost to use the basic service.


The Right to Fair Process & To Be Heard 0 out of 5

No due process. No warning process. No opportunity to correct. No defense period. No fair and impartial decision making process. Page 7 of the TOS: You can be removed "at any time for any reason or no reason."


The Right to Appeal & The Right to Return 0 out of 5

No appeal process. No second chance/right to return policy.


The Right to Reasonable Terms 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Okay, their TOS agreements are ALL messed up. On the current one (and I'm looking at it on 5/19/18, and I have taken some screenshots, their TOS agreement has different dates. At the top, it says "effective September 28, 2016". Which is odd, because there is a more recent one on October 2, 2017. And yet, at the bottom of the September 28, 2016 TOS, it says the effective date is May 25th, 2018. But... in this very agreement, it also says that there is a newer version coming out on May 25th. Ok boys and girls, which is it? Please fix the dates, because how can anyone know what they are agreeing to when all of your dates are conflicting? Twitter Rules are separate from the TOS (but legally a part of them). Different terms for different countries. The TOS clearly states that "by using this service, you may be exposed to content that might be offensive, harmful, inaccurate" etc., but they still censor people. Why? Either allow reasonable free speech, or don't, but don't avoid liability for yourself and then censor people anyway. Not cool.

GOOD ASPECTS: Arbitration isn't forced.


Historical Fairness 6.22 out of 10
Historical User Ratings 10.0 out of 10
Historical Lack of Lawsuits or Arbitrations 10.0 out of 10
Public Placement of TOS Fairness Score & Link 20.0 out of 20
Total Rating 62.22 out of 100
Additional Note

emails: copyright@twitter.com This is actually the ONLY email address I could find in any of the agreements. They really want to make it difficult for you to contact them with questions about the TOS or Privacy Policy...

Ways to improve

1. Post your contact email at front of TOS
2. Combine all the agreements into one.
3. Fix the privacy policy issues.
4. Stop censoring people randomly. Make a clear policy that is fair to ALL.
5. Don't make it seem like your IP policy is so generous when it's not as generous as you make people think it is. And remove the sublicense.
6. Allow users to sue OR arbitrate, in their home city, with no restriction on recovery.
7. Get all the dates straight in the agreements.
8. Create a fair process and a right to be heard.
9. Create an appeals process and right to return.
10. Add your TOS rating and link to your TOS page as outlined in our guidelines. You currently are being given all 20 points.

Review Status Completed

First Name Rating Comment

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Monroe Mann USA - NY 05/20/2018
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