Why Might Content Be Withheld?
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.
How Do You Know If Content Has Been Withheld?
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.
How Do You Know Where I Am? What If Twitter Has Misidentified My 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.
How Can I Request to Have Content Withheld?
If you represent a government or law enforcement agency and would like to have potentially illegal content or accounts removed from Twitter, we ask that you first review the Twitter Rules and, if applicable, submit a request to have the content reviewed for possible violations of our Terms of Service, here: https://support.twitter.com/forms.
If you have already submitted a request and have received a response from us indicating that the content in question does not currently violate our Terms of Service, you can submit a request for content to be withheld through our web form: https://support.twitter.com/forms/lawenforcement. You will then receive an automated response confirming that your request has been received by our support system. We will send another email once we’ve had a chance to evaluate your request.
Other authorized reporters may request the withholding of content determined to be illegal in their jurisdiction by faxing (1-415-222-9958) or mailing a hard copy of the request, including the exact Tweet(s) and/or Twitter account(s) (e.g., @TwitterSafety) to be reviewed, to the following address:
c/o Trust & Safety – Legal Policy
1355 Market Street Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Receipt of correspondence by any of these means is for convenience only and does not waive any objections, including the lack of jurisdiction or proper service.
NOTE: As previously stated, we will promptly notify affected users upon receipt of requests to withhold content unless we are legally prohibited from doing so (e.g., if we receive a court order under seal). This notification will include a copy of your takedown request.
What Can I Do If My Content Has Been Withheld?
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.