Twitter leaves placeholder message for copyright violations

Twitter says the move is intended to increase transparency

Under a new policy, Twitter will leave a placeholder message when it removes content resulting from a complaint by a copyright holder.

Previously, the content was removed entirely, making it more difficult for people to figure out why it disappeared.

"In an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content, we clearly mark withheld Tweets and media to indicate to viewers when content has been withheld," according to its information page dealing with copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Act issues.

Twitter will remove content such as profile photos and other photos as well as links to infringing material if it determines a complainant is the rightful copyright owner and the material has been used without permission.

Twitter attempts to contact the affected account holder and provide the person with a copy of the takedown notice and instructions for how to contest the removal.

Those DMCA notifications are also provided by Twitter to Chilling Effects minus any personal information, Twitter said. The website tracks copyright and DMCA issues.

When a tweet has been scrubbed, the entry will still appear with the title "Tweet withheld" followed by: "This Tweet from @Username has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder. Learn more." A similar message is displayed when other media content has been removed.

Twitter will suspend accounts that have had repeated copyright violations, and in some cases, terminate accounts.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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