The relationship between Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provisions and social media has grown increasingly complex in recent months as regulators have become more vigilant and efficient in their removal of infringing content on sites such as YouTube and Reddit. As both sides continue to navigate the implications of evolving digital copyright rules, Twitter is seeking the bring a degree of transparency to the process.
During the past few months, a number of Twitter users have seen their posts inexplicably stripped from the site following DMCA takedown requests. According to GigaOM, Twitter will now shift toward a policy of "withholding" tweets rather than deleting them outright.
"When we get a valid DMCA request, we withhold the tweet until such time as we get (if we ever do) a valid counter-response from the user," company officials explained in a statement emailed to reporters. "In this case, if someone with the permalink tries to navigate to the tweet, they'll see that it is being withheld for copyright reasons."
Formerly, users would have been directed to an error page when attempting to access content that was under review. If the publisher ultimately defended their rights to use the content, Twitter would then manually repost the tweet at that time.
While most have embraced this emphasis on information over obfuscation, not all are certain that Twitter has the noblest of intentions at heart. According to CMSWire, some are viewing this as a distractive measure intended to move discussion away from the more controversial policy changes that have recently restricted privileges for a number of third-party developers attempting to monetize applications via Twitter.