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  • Honoring User Intent on Twitter

    posted on 17 August 2014 by Greg Lyon, Mark Callahan


    We believe that respecting the privacy and intent of Twitter users is critically important to the long term health of one of the largest public, real-time information platforms in the world. Twitter puts privacy controls in the hands of its users, giving individuals the ability to control their own Twitter experience. As business consumers of Twitter data, we have a collective responsibility to honor the privacy and actions of end users in order to maintain this environment of trust and respect.

    There are a variety of things that can happen to Tweets and User accounts that impact how they are displayed on the platform. The actions that affect privacy and intent are defined at both the Status (Tweet) and User levels. These actions include:

    User

    Action Description
    Protect Account A Twitter user can protect or unprotect their account at any time. Protected accounts require manual user approval of every person who is allowed to view their account's Tweets.
    For more information, see About Public and Protected Tweets.
    Delete Account A Twitter user can decide to delete their account and all associated status messages at any time. Twitter retains the account information for 30 days after deletion in case the user decides to undelete and effectively reactivate their account.
    Scrub Geo A Twitter user can remove all location data from past Tweets at any time. This known as “scrub geo”.
    Suspend Account Twitter retains the right to suspend accounts that are in violation of the Twitter Rules or if an account is suspected to have been hacked or compromised. Account suspensions can only be reversed (unsuspend) by Twitter.
    Withhold Account Twitter retains the right to reactively withhold access to certain content in a specific country from time to time. A withheld account can only be made unwithheld by Twitter.
    For more information, see Country Withheld Content.

    Status

    Action Description
    Delete Status A Twitter user can delete a status at any point in time. Deleted statuses cannot be reversed and are permanently deleted.
    Withhold Status Twitter retains the right to reactively withhold access to certain content in a specific country from time to time. A withheld status can only be made unwithheld by Twitter.
    For more information, see Country Withheld Content.

    Keeping Track of User and Status Changes

    The state of a User or Status can change at any time due to one of the actions above, and this impacts how consumers of Twitter data are expected to treat the availability and privacy of all associated content. When these actions happen, a corresponding compliance message is sent that indicates that the state of a Status or User has changed. Gnip has developed tools to help our customers continually keep their data “in compliance”, honoring both the privacy and intent of Twitter users and ensuring the continued growth of the platform.

    Your account manager is available to discuss these tools as well as best practices for maintaining end user trust and privacy expectations.


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