These guidelines are intended for law enforcement personnel seeking to request information about Twitter users. Information regarding requests to withhold content is available on our Country Withheld Content article; requests can be filed through our web form. More general information on Twitter's Rules can be found here.
- What is Twitter?
- What User Information Does Twitter Have?
- Data Retention Information
- Requests for User Information
- Emergency Disclosure Requests
- Requests from Non-U.S. Law Enforcement
- Assisting a Twitter User
- Contact Information
Twitter is a real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets users share and discover what's happening now. Users send 140-character messages through our website and mobile site, client applications, or any variety of third-party applications. For more information, you can also visit https://twitter.com/about.
For the latest on Twitter's features and functions please visit our Help Center.
Twitter provides photo hosting for some image uploads (i.e., pic.twitter.com) as well as a user's profile photo, header photo, and account background image; Twitter does not, however, provide hosting for videos other than those posted to Vine, nor is Twitter the sole photo hosting provider for images that may appear on the Twitter service. More information about posting photos on Twitter can be found here.
We accept requests from law enforcement to preserve records pending the issuance of valid legal process. Preservation requests, in accordance with applicable law, should be signed by the requesting official, include the @username and URL of the subject Twitter profile (e.g., @safety and https://twitter.com/safety), have a valid return email address, and be sent on law enforcement letterhead. Requests may be sent via the methods described below.
Twitter, Inc. is located in San Francisco, California and will only respond to valid legal process in compliance with U.S. law.
Some information we store is automatically collected, while other information is provided at the user’s discretion. Though we do store this information, it may not be accurate if the user has created a fake or anonymous profile. Twitter doesn’t require email verification or identity authentication.
Contents of Communications Requires a Search Warrant
Requests for the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, DMs, photos) require a valid U.S. search warrant.
Yes. Twitter's policy is to notify users of requests for their information prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited from doing so by statute or court order (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b)).
When requesting user information, please include:
- The @username and URL of the subject Twitter profile in question (e.g., @safety and https://twitter.com/safety);
- Details about what specific information is requested (e.g., basic subscriber information) and its relationship to your investigation;
- Note: Please ensure that the information you seek is not available from our public API. We are unable to process overly broad or vague requests.
- A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS so we may get back in touch with you upon receipt of your legal process.
Requests may be submitted by fax or mail; our contact information is available at the bottom of these Guidelines.
NOTE: We do not accept legal process via email at this time; our support system automatically removes all attachments for security reasons.
Unless otherwise agreed upon, we currently provide responsive records in electronic format (i.e., plain text files that can be opened with any word processing software such as Word or TextEdit).
The records that we produce are self-authenticating. Additionally, the records are electronically signed to ensure their integrity at the time of production. If you require a declaration, please note that in your request.
Twitter evaluates emergency disclosure requests on a case-by-case basis in compliance with 18 U.S.C. § 2702(b)(8). If we receive information that gives us a good faith belief that there is an exigent emergency involving the danger of death or serious physical injury to a person, we may provide information necessary to prevent that harm, if we have it.
If there is an exigent emergency that involves the danger of death or serious physical injury to a person that Twitter may have information necessary to prevent, you can submit an emergency disclosure request through our web form (the quickest and most efficient method).
Alternatively, you may fax emergency requests to 1-415-222-9958 (faxed requests may result in a delayed response); please include all of the following information:
- Please indicate on your cover sheet that you're submitting an Emergency Disclosure Request
- Identify the person who is in danger of death or serious physical injury;
- The nature of the emergency (e.g., report of suicide, bomb threat);
- Twitter @username and URL (e.g., @safety and https://twitter.com/safety) of the subject account(s) whose information is necessary to prevent the emergency;
- Any specific Tweets you would like us to review;
- The specific information requested and why that information is necessary to prevent the emergency; and
- All other available details or context regarding the particular circumstances.
U.S. law authorizes Twitter to respond to requests for user information from foreign law enforcement agencies that are issued via U.S. court either by way of a mutual legal assistance treaty (“MLAT”) or a letter rogatory. It is our policy to respond to such U.S. court ordered requests when properly served.
Non-U.S. law enforcement authorities may also submit requests for emergency disclosure under exigent circumstances, as outlined in the section titled "How to Make an Emergency Disclosure Request," above.
If you are assisting a Twitter user with an investigation and want to obtain a copy of the Twitter user’s non-public account information, please instruct the user to contact us directly (see below) to request his or her own information.
Twitter provides each registered user with the capacity to obtain a download of Tweets posted to their personal account. More information on how a user can request that information is available in our Help Center: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170160.
Twitter does not currently offer users a self-serve method to obtain other, non-public information (e.g., IP logs) about their accounts. If a Twitter user has provided consent to law enforcement to obtain his or her non-public account information, please direct the user to request this information directly from Twitter by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: Request for Own Account Information; we will respond with further instructions.
Most issues can be resolved by having users to submit inquires directly to us. More information on how to report violations is available here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/15789.
Other general inquiries from law enforcement / government officials can be submitted through our web form.
You may fax Twitter, Inc., c/o Trust & Safety – Legal Policy, at: 1-415-222-9958.
Our mailing address is:
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.
Non-law enforcement requests should be sent through our regular support methods (https://support.twitter.com).