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Twitter Policy Primer

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  1. 1.
  2. 2. What you need to know before clicking “I Agree”. A guide by Sian CooperThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Australia License.
  3. 3. Firstly, what is Twitter?Twitter is a Social Networking Service that allows its users to post ‘Tweets’ containing 140 characters or less. Anybody over the age of 13 years can register for their own Twitter account. As long as you meet the minimum agerequirement, you can be anything you want to be on Twitter… Even a pigeon!
  4. 4. Prior to becoming an active user, you must agree to Twitters Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
  5. 5. Did you know that approximately95% of people do not read through a ‘Terms of Service’ statement before clicking - Leaver, 2009.
  6. 6. What have you just agreed to?
  7. 7. Well… Firstly, Twitter is an open platform meaning that anything you post on Twitter can be broadcast to a wider audience… the general public… third party services and websites… virtually anybody that has access to the internet worldwide.
  8. 8. Why is it important to think before you Tweet? Although cyberspace is a virtual place where you cannot physically see the audience that will view the content that you post online… always remember that you have a worldwide audience. YOU are responsible for the content that you post online.
  9. 9. Tips: Try not to use offensive language, post misleading information or harmful content, share copyrighted images orpornographic material. These things may get you into trouble!
  10. 10. Things that may get you into trouble… Recently, a “troll scandal” broke out on Twitter which resulted in an employee being suspended from her position at Monash University. She sent a Tweet to TV presenter Charlotte Dawson which read “If I was your fiancé Id hang myself too #gohangyourself” (Byrnes, 2012).
  11. 11. Suicide taunts and other forms of harassment are notcondoned on Twitter, and may place you in breach ofTwitter’s rules and regulations.
  12. 12. Cyber crime experts have warned that hate tweets could also be prosecuted as a breach of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, relating to using "a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence or for the purposes of a threat“ - Byrnes, 2012.
  13. 13. More things that may get you into trouble… Earlier this year, two British tourists were restricted from entering America following a joke on Twitter stating “I’m going to destroy America and dig up Marilyn Monroe” (Hartley-Parkinson, 2012). The Department of Homeland Security initially flagged one of the tourists as a potential threat following a Tweet stating “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?” (Hartley-Parkinson, 2012).
  14. 14. The tourists were detained at Los Angeles airport on suspicionof ‘planning to commit crimes’. The 26 year old boy whoinitially sent the Tweet argued that the word ‘destroy’ is aBritish word used for ‘party’.Nevertheless, the content and wording of his Tweet was enoughto place security officials on high alert. -Hartley-Parkinson (2012).
  15. 15. Another thing to keep in mind… When posting images and sharing information on Twitter, please take note of and respect the copyright attached to the content that you are sharing.
  16. 16. Twitters Copyright Policy “Respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects users of the service to do the same” - Twitter Terms of Service (2012). /3179098895/
  17. 17. What happens if you are in breach of the rules and regulations? If you are found to be in breach of the rules and regulations, Twitter has the right to remove and refuse to distribute content that you have posted, to suspend your user account, or reclaim your username -Twitter Terms of Service (2012).
  18. 18. Remember…YOU are responsible for your use of the services that Twitter provides, for any content you post and share, and for any consequences thereof. This includes other users and third party services using your content. - Twitter Terms of Service (2012).
  19. 19. If you do not agree to these terms of service, then do not click
  20. 20. What about TwittersPrivacy Policy?
  21. 21. Did you know…A Consumer Reports ‘State of the Net’ survey conducted in 2010revealed that up to 9 per cent of social network users had experiencedsome form of abuse online in that past year, such as scams, harassment,and identity theft (Sachoff, 2010).Social network users that post personal information such as their fullbirth dates, home addresses, photos and names of children, have beenfound to be most at risk of falling victim to cybercrime (Sachoff, 2010).
  22. 22. Although Twitter does ask you to provide some of your personal information during the registration process, such as your name, password, username and email address, you CAN control theamount of personal information that you share with the public by adjusting your
  23. 23. Remember that, unless you adjust your PRIVACY SETTINGS, everything you post on Twitter is PUBLIC. This includes: Metadata provided with Tweets… Tweets… And Retweets. -Twitter Privacy Policy (2012).
  24. 24. Twitter does not actively monitor every post that is published on it’s site, nor does it proactively remove Tweets on behalf of other users (Holt, 2012).If you feel that your privacy has beenviolated, you need to fill out acomplaint form in order for Twitter totake further action. The complaint formcan be found at
  25. 25. What other types of information can Twitter access from you? Your location information, such as the location that you are in when you send a Tweet from your mobile phone. Twitter monitors your website usage by using tracking cookies (a small data file that is transferred to your computer), in order to gain a better understanding of how you use it’s services. Log data, such as your computers IP address, the search terms that you use, your mobile carrier, and the pages that you have visited, are all recorded by Twitter. Third-Party services may also retrieve aspects of information that are sent by your web browser, on the condition that these third parties use this data in line with Twitters Privacy Policy. In the case that Twitter faces issues such as bankruptcy and sale of assets, your personal information and account information may be sold as part of that transaction. - Twitter Privacy Policy (2012).
  26. 26. So…“We’re accustomed to thinking of the internet as being a neutral place, ablank sheet upon which we are free to do whatever we desire, whetherliberal or conservative, corporate or anarchist, commercial or free” (Barthel,2012).
  27. 27. Always remember…“Before posting something about yourself or your family on theinternet, ask yourself: have you or would you ever disclose this kind ofinformation to a stranger in real life?If the answer is NO then you’d better think twice before you send it out into a world where it can be put to countless illicit uses and, more importantly, from which you may never be able to completely erase it” (Datcu, 2012).
  28. 28. ReferencesBarthel, M. (July 5, 2012). What are the Politics of the Internet? The AWL. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from, H. (August 29, 2012). Australias Next Top Model judge Charlotte Dawson takes aim at Twitter trolls.News Limited Network. Retrieved 31st August 2012 from (May 21, 2008). Twitter Pack, [Image]. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from, S. (February 9, 2012). The Psychology of Personal Information Sharing. Bitfender Resource Center.Retrieved 4th September 2012 from, R. (January 31, 2012). Im going to destroy America and dig up Marilyn Monroe: British pairarrested in U.S. on terror charges over Twitter jokes. Mail Online. Retrieved 31st August 2012 from, K. (August 1, 2012). What to do when someone Tweets your phone number without permission. The DailyDot. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from
  29. 29. ReferencesLeaver, T. (November 18, 2009). Learning, Authenticity & Online Policy Primers. Tama’s Learning Blog, [Blog].Retrieved 28th August 2012 from (January 4, 2009). Photography on Twitter, [Image]. Retrieved 1st September 2012 from Ochoa. (April 16, 2010). Twitter on Paper , [Image]. Retrieved 3rd September 2012 from Ochoa. (May 13, 2009). Nonviolenceiamx_banner_120x600, [Image]. Retrieved 2nd September 2012 from Ochoa. (April 6, 2009). Twitter Profile, [Image]. Retrieved 2nd September 2012 from Ochoa. (May 13, 2009). Twitter_Good_Bad, [Image]. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from Ochoa. (March 5, 2009). Retweet, [Image]. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from Ochoa. (February 12, 2009). Twitter, [Image]. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from
  30. 30. ReferencesRosaura Ochoa. (July 28, 2010). Twitter En La Vida Real, [Image]. Retrieved 1st September 2012 from Ochoa. (March 3, 2009). Alto a la Violencia, [Image]. Retrieved 5th September 2012 from, M. (May 4, 2010). Social Network Users Posting Too Much Personal Information: Social Network UsersVulnerable to Cybercrime. WebProNews. Retrieved 4th September 2012 from Privacy Policy. (May 17, 2012). Retrieved 31st August 2012 from Terms of Service. (June 25, 2012). Retrieved 31st August from