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 user 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 people everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time. Such withholdings will be limited to the specific jurisdiction that has issued the valid legal demand or where the content has been found to violate local law(s).
Transparency is vital to protecting freedom of expression, so we have a notice policy for withheld content. Upon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify affected users unless we are prohibited from doing so (e.g., if we receive a court order under seal). We also clearly indicate within the product when content has been withheld and publish requests to withhold content on Lumen—unless, similar to our practice of notifying users, we are 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 and why?
If you see the above message, it means Twitter was compelled to withhold the original Tweet in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.
If you see the above message, it means Twitter withheld content based on local law(s) in response to a report filed through specific support intake channels.
If you see the above message, it means Twitter was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g., @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.
If you see the above message, it means Twitter withheld the entire account based on local law(s) in response to a report filed through specific support intake channels.
How do you know where I am?
We use information that we may receive about your location to determine your country.
How can I submit a legal request to have content withheld?
If you are a law enforcement agent, government official, or other third-party intending to submit a valid legal request 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 Twitter’s Terms of Service, here: https://help.twitter.com/forms.
If you have already submitted a request and have received a response from Twitter indicating that the content in question does not currently violate Twitter’s Terms of Service, you can submit a request for content to be withheld through our legal request submission site: https://legalrequests.twitter.com. 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.
NOTE: As previously stated, we will promptly notify affected users upon receipt of requests to withhold content unless we are prohibited from doing so (e.g., if we receive a court order under seal). This notification will include a copy of your takedown request.
How do I know if my content has been withheld? What can I do about it?
Unless prohibited, Twitter will attempt to notify affected users of any third-party requests to withhold their content via the email address associated with the affected Twitter account(s) and/or through a notification within the Twitter app. This will typically include identification of the specific content that has been reported or withheld and the origin of the request. If you believe your content was withheld in error, you may appeal by responding directly to the email we sent notifying you of the withholding (if based on a legal demand) or by contacting us through our Help Center (if withheld based on local law).
Additionally, Tweets and/or accounts that are withheld include a clear visual indicator. Here are a couple examples from the affected account holder’s point of view:
It is up to the affected user to decide whether to challenge the underlying request. Separately, the user may decide to leave the content online, remove one or more Tweets, or deactivate their Twitter account. More information for affected users is available in our legal request FAQs.