Twitter's TOS don't mean anything?

In a lengthy article Ariel Waldman today described some of her recent experiences with Twitter and how they seems to handle violations against their TOS in case of harassment.

Esp. interesting was the “final” response after being in contact about this issue for multiple months:

Apologies for the delay here. We’ve reviewed the matter and decided it’s not in our best interest to get involved. We’ve tasked our lawyers with a full review and update of our TOS.

Well, I’d say, it should be in Twitter’s best interest to prevent stuff like that from happening.


I’m not a lawyer but, honestly, I don’t see why Twitter is – I guess – fearing law-suites on this front. The terms of service and and always have been very clear on cases like this:

4. You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Twitter users.

Violation of any of these agreements will result in the termination of your Twitter.com account.

Basic Terms (snapshot from 2007)

3. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

General Conditions (snapshot from 2007)

At least to me this should be enough to warrant a warning for even the slightest offense and leave no questions open about a ban if necessary.

I’ve seen some of the offending tweets and at least some seem to come through an open relay – basically a normal twitter account linked with an open form on the net where anyone can “anonymously” post updates.

Even in such a case I don’t see why they can’t remove at least the offending updates or make this feed private altogether. Also given the content of these tweets, I wouldn’t see a problem with completely banning this account.

Ariel also opened a topic on getsatisfaction.com about this issue and the “official response” was (again) quite underwhelming.

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