One of the many parts of the Twitter Api 1.1 thats been quite ambiguous is the part about quoting tweets:
We will require all applications that display Tweets to adhere to [the display requirements]. Among them: linking @usernames to the appropriate Twitter profile, displaying appropriate Tweet actions (e.g. Retweet, reply and favorite) and scaling display of Tweets appropriately based on the device.1
It is not one hundred percent clear what an application means in this case. Marco Arment took a pessimistic approach:
I’m pretty sure this means that I can’t just display a tweet as a link and blockquote when I want to quote it here.2
When I first read that I shook my head in disbelief. ”They can’t possibly be that creepy and control-freaky, can they?” According to Jeremy Keith, turns out they can:
Just to double-check, I asked one of my (many) friends who work at Twitter. “These display requirements …they don’t apply to me quoting a tweet on my blog, right?”
The answer I got surprised me. Apparently the display guidel… requirements do apply to me. If I want to quote a tweet on my website, I’m supposed to use the embed code to make sure that people can favourite/retweet/follow, etc.3
Now, read that quoted part again and think about what it really means. Whatever you write on Twitter, they claim ownership of. Not only that, but they actually go so far as to suddenly dictate how you are allowed to quote the things written on their service. That completely violates years and years of writing tradition and, probably, a whole bunch of laws regarding fair use etc.
I’m not sure what Twitter is trying to pull here, but apparently they have gone completely insane. I hope every blogger in the world violates this. As long as you’re not an app developer, Twitters only response can be to take actual legal actions against it and I can’t possibly see how they could win such a case.
(What about newspapers? At least in Sweden newspapers sometimes quote famous peoples tweets in there printed edition. How the hell should they comply with this?)