Why Social Media User Agreements Matter

This article published in the Montreal Gazette discusses users’ enforceable rights on Twitter, Facebook etc.  While these sites require users to broadly agree to their terms of use, they claim to allow users to “own” their own content.  However, in this case the Agence France-Presse published a photographer’s Haitian Earthquake photos without permission from the photographer.  The media company claims the photographer had uploaded them to Twitter so he had consented to having his photos free to re-publish to anyone.

But is that a reasonable expectation for a Twitter user to have about their content?  Are people simply signing away valuable rights without understanding what they are doing?

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