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How does Twitter’s “new” Terms of Service affect you and I?

The thing is that information can be watered down or misinterpreted when transferred from one medium to another. But the source can’t lie, or atleast, the source tries to tell you what it is and how it is.

An article was recently put up on how Twitter’s new Terms of Service was met with controversy. Users expressed how displeased they were citing the negative effects it would have on creators of original content. The main issue with the terms is the part about Twitter’s ability to “sell” your Tweets to whoever wants them and for whatever reason.

So, as content creators and as readers generally, how will this development impact the way we use Twitter or social networks as a whole? For one thing, the new terms are mainly for non-U.S. residents. Which means we must be doing something right (or wrong, but I doubt that) around the world, or in Africa atleast, to get such changes. Which also means that we’re making waves.

You can look at this from different perspectives. But if you would allow me, I’ll like to share mine with you.

  • It’s kinda messed up: People put alot of work into the things they put online. It could be something jovial like a meme or joke or it could also be something subtle like a quote or an article on pressing issues. Point is alot of creative thinking goes into the things we see online and creators of such content are usually proud of their creations even if some of them are unnecessary, disturbing or even inhumane. So if Twitter has the right to give out your creations to whoever wants them, not much credibility might be given to the original creator and the content could be misinterpreted or even used wrongly. This means something as innocent as a joke can be taken as a threat.
  • On the issue of credibility: I have seen similar accounts/pages on Twitter (and Instagram) go to war over a single post. This account is talking about how a particular picture was ripped off his account and the other claiming he found it floating on the Internet. Now imagine the original creator lives on the other side of the planet, has no idea people are fighting over a picture he took with his DSLR camera and nobody is crediting him for his good work.
  • We could use this to our advantage: As content creators, we would appreciate it if our readers (or potential readers) come to us directly for their news, update and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Twitter or any social network for that matter. They are all great platforms for publicizing your stuff. The thing is that information can be watered down or misinterpreted when transferred from one medium to another. But the source can’t lie, or atleast, the source tries to tell you what it is and how it is. This can push content creators to reduce the amount of things they put online. You can call it fear but I think it’s a great move – allowing their audience come to them directly for all they have offer. People begin to acknowledge them as the source they’ve always been. Afterall, a friend told me that as Africans, we can create our own stories and put them our there for people to enjoy without, in his own words, “relying on a white man’s invention”. That is a dream that we can make a reality.

Ultimately, I think how this new ToS affects us is up to individual users. Some might appreciate how Twitter “promotes” everyone’s Tweets, giving you a larger audience outside your followers.

Other people might find this invasive in the sense that our Tweets and original content can easily be taken by other people and used however they want to use it. Giving a new perspective to something you tweeted or posted innocently.

Adeshola Ogunleye

Grown man in a young body but I use that to my advantage.

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