- What is Twitter?
- Who Holds Twitter Account Information?
- What Account Information Does Twitter Have?
- Data Retention Information
- Requests for Twitter Account Information
- Emergency Disclosure Requests
- Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties
- Assisting a Twitter User
- Contact Information
Twitter is a real-time global information network that lets users create and share ideas and information instantly. People and organizations send 140-character messages through our website and mobile site, client applications (e.g., Twitter for Android; Twitter for iOS), SMS, or any variety of third-party applications.
Twitter provides photo hosting for some image uploads (i.e., pic.twitter.com images) as well as Twitter account profile photos, header photos, and account background images. However, Twitter is not the sole photo provider for images that may appear on the Twitter platform. More information about posting photos on Twitter can be found here.
Twitter does not provide hosting for videos other than those posted to Vine.
What is Vine?
Vine is a standalone mobile service, owned by Twitter, Inc., that lets users create and share short looping videos. More information is available in our Help Center.
Twitter retains different types of information for different time periods. Given Twitter's real-time nature, some information (e.g., IP logs) may only be stored for a very brief period of time.
NOTE: Once an account has been deactivated, there is a very brief period in which we may be able to access account information, including Tweets. More information about deactivated accounts is available here. Content deleted by account holders (e.g., Tweets) is generally not available.
We accept requests from U.S. law enforcement to preserve records which constitute potentially relevant evidence in legal proceedings. We will preserve, but not disclose, a temporary snapshot of the relevant account records for 90 days pending service 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 official email address, and be sent on law enforcement letterhead. Requests may be sent via the methods described below.
Requests for user account information from U.S. law enforcement should be directed to Twitter, Inc. in San Francisco, California. Twitter responds to valid legal process issued in compliance with U.S. law.
Non-public information about Twitter users will not be released to law enforcement except in response to appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process – or in response to a valid emergency request, as described below.
Requests for the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, Direct Messages, photos) require a valid search warrant from an agency with proper jurisdiction over Twitter.
Yes. Twitter's policy is to notify users of requests for their account information, which includes a copy of the request, prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited from doing so (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b)). Exceptions to prior notice may include exigent or counterproductive circumstances (e.g., emergencies; account compromises).
When requesting user account information, please include:
- The @username and URL of the subject Twitter account 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 official email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. Requests must be made on law enforcement letterhead.
NOTE: We do not accept legal process via email at this time; our support system does not allow attachments for security reasons.
Unless otherwise agreed upon, we currently provide responsive records in electronic format (i.e., 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 explicitly note that in your request.
Twitter, Inc. evaluates emergency disclosure requests on a case-by-case basis in compliance with relevant U.S. law (e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 2702(b)(8)). If we receive information that provides us with 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, law enforcement officers 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:
- Indication on your cover sheet, which must be on law enforcement letterhead, that you're submitting an Emergency Disclosure Request;
- Identity of 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;
- The signature of the submitting law enforcement officer; and
- All other available details or context regarding the particular circumstances.
International law enforcement authorities may submit requests for emergency disclosure.
Twitter, Inc.’s policy is to promptly respond to requests that are issued via U.S. court either by way of a mutual legal assistance treaty (“MLAT”) and letters rogatory, upon proper service of process.
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 ask the user to contact us directly (see below) to request his or her own information.
Registered Twitter account holders can obtain a download of Tweets posted to their Twitter account. Directions on how a user can request that information is available in our Help Center.
Twitter does not currently offer account holders a self-serve method to obtain other, non-public information (e.g., IP logs) about their Twitter accounts. If a Twitter user requires his or her non-public account information, please direct the user to request this information directly from Twitter, Inc. by sending an email to email@example.com with subject: Request for Own Account Information; we will respond with further instructions.
Other general inquiries from law enforcement or government officials can be submitted through our web form.
Our address and fax details are:
c/o Trust & Safety - Legal Policy
1355 Market Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Fax: 1-415-222-9958 (attn: Trust & Safety - Legal Policy)
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 submitted through our Help Center.