If you have encountered a Tweet or an account that has been marked as withheld, you may be wondering what that means and why that may have happened. With hundreds of millions of Tweets posted every day around the world, our goal is to respect our users' expression, while also taking into consideration applicable local laws.
Many countries, including the United States, have laws that may apply to Tweets and/or Twitter account content. In our continuing effort to make our services available to users everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to reactively withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.
We have found that transparency is vital to freedom of expression. Upon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify affected users unless we believe we are legally prohibited from doing so (for example, if we receive an order under seal). We also clearly indicate within the product when content has been withheld. And, we have expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to publish not only DMCA notifications but also requests to withhold content -- unless, similar to our practice of notifying users, we are legally prohibited from doing so.
We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the Tweets must continue to flow.
If you see a grayed-out Tweet in your timeline (above) or on another user's account (below), it means that access to that Tweet has been withheld in your country.
Similarly, if you see a grayed-out user in your timeline (above) or elsewhere on Twitter (below), access to that particular account has been withheld in your country.
We use the IP address from which you are viewing Twitter to determine your country. For more information, please see the Country Setting support article.
Upon receipt of a request to withhold content, Twitter will attempt to notify affected users of the request via the email address we have on file, identifying the specific content withheld and the origin of the request, in addition to marking withheld Tweets and/or accounts with a visual indicator. It is up to the user to decide whether to challenge the underlying request. Separately, the user may decide to leave the content online, delete one or more Tweets, or deactivate their Twitter account.