More on restricted use cases — Twitter Developers

Developer terms

More about restricted uses of the Twitter APIs.

Use of our developer platform requires that you review and agree to our Developer Agreement and Policy, as well as our related policies, including the Display Requirements and Automation Rules. Among other things, our agreements and policies provide guidance about several restricted use cases. We’ve provided additional information about some of these restrictions below.

Sensitive information

You should be careful about using Twitter data to derive or infer potentially sensitive characteristics about Twitter users or their content. In particular, don’t derive or infer, or store derived or inferred, information about a Twitter user’s:

  • Health (including pregnancy)
  • Negative financial status or condition
  • Political affiliation or beliefs
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical affiliation or beliefs
  • Sex life or sexual orientation
  • Trade union membership
  • Alleged or actual commission of a crime

Aggregate analysis of Twitter data that does not process any personal information (e.g., information about identifiable accounts or individuals) is permitted, provided that the analysis also complies with applicable laws and all parts of the Developer Agreement and Policy.

Off-Twitter matching

Off-Twitter matching involves associating Twitter content with a person, household, device, browser, or other off-Twitter identifier. One example would be associating a Twitter username with a business’s customer records.

We want our users to feel comfortable that the identity they establish on Twitter is safe and, if they choose, pseudonymous. If you intend to associate any information about a Twitter user to an off-Twitter identifier, we accordingly require that you get express, opt-in consent from the user before making the association. For example, you could get this consent when you ask a user to share their Twitter handle with you as part of a signup process for your service.

In situations in which you do not have a user’s express, opt-in consent to link their Twitter identity to an off-Twitter identifier, you may do so only only if the link is based on:

  • Information provided directly to you that the user would reasonably expect to be used for that purpose. If a user would be surprised to learn that you are using information they provided to link their Twitter account to an identity off of Twitter, don’t do it. You should only attempt to match your records about someone to a Twitter identity if that person would expect you to know who they are. Records about individuals with whom you have no prior relationship, including data about individuals obtained from third parties, do not meet this standard.
  • Public data. “Public data” in this context refers to:
    • Information about a user which you obtained from a public, generally-available resource (such as a directory of members of a professional association)
    • Information on Twitter about a user which is publicly available, including:
      • Tweets
      • Profile information, including a user’s bio and publicly-stated location
      • Display name and username

Redistribution of Twitter content

If you need to share Twitter content obtained via the Twitter APIs with another party, the best way to do so is by sharing Tweet IDs, Direct Message IDs, and/or User IDs, which the end user of the content can then rehydrate using the Twitter APIs. You may only share up to 50,000 hydrated public Tweet Objects and/or User Objects per user of your service, per day, and should not make this data publicly available (e.g., as an attachment to a blog post).

There are a few other points to keep in mind whenever you’re redistributing Twitter content:

  • You may only distribute up to 1,500,000 Tweet IDs to a single entity within a 30 day period unless you’ve received prior express written permission from Twitter.
  • Individuals redistributing Tweet IDs and/or User IDs on behalf of an academic institution for the sole purpose of non-commercial research are permitted to redistribute an unlimited number of Tweet IDs and/or User IDs.
  • Any Twitter content provided by you to another party remains subject to the Developer Agreement and Policy, and that third party must agree to the Twitter Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Developer Agreement, and Developer Policy before receiving Twitter content from you.

Multiple applications

You are never permitted to create multiple applications for a single use case. In this context, we define “use case” as a consistent set of analyses, displays, or actions performed via an application. Please note that providing the same service or application to different end users (including “white label” versions of a tool or service) counts as a single use case. The only exception to this rule is to create development (“dev”), staging, and production (“prod”) instances of the same service. Learn more about these policies here.

Automation and auto-responses

If your application will be used to perform write actions on the Twitter service, including posting Tweets, following accounts, or sending Direct Messages, you should carefully review the Automation Rules to ensure your service complies with our guidelines. In particular, you should:

  • Always get a user’s explicit consent before sending them automated replies or messages
  • Immediately respect user requests to opt-out of being contacted by you
  • Never perform bulk, aggressive, or spammy actions, including bulk following

Measuring the Twitter service

Do not use the Twitter APIs to measure the availability, performance, functionality, or usage of Twitter for benchmarking or competitive purposes. For example, you should never use the Twitter APIs to:

  • Calculate aggregate Twitter user metrics, such as the total number of active users or accounts
  • Calculate aggregate Twitter Tweet metrics, such as the total number of Tweets posted per day, or the number of user engagements or account engagements
  • Measure or analyze spam or security on Twitter, except as permitted in the Twitter Rules

Government use and surveillance

Twitter data can be a powerful force for good in the world — from saving lives during flooding in Jakarta to helping the USGS track earthquakes to working with the UN to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. However, we prohibit the use of Twitter data and the Twitter APIs by any entity for surveillance purposes. Period. Any misuse of the Twitter APIs for these purposes will be subject to enforcement action, which can include suspension and termination of access. Learn more about these policies here. For additional information for law enforcement authorities seeking information about Twitter accounts, visit https://t.co/le.

 

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