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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Twitter Defends Occupy, Challenges Court Order to Release Protester's Tweets

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 4:16 PM

click to enlarge Twitter doesn't want occupiers to do this to its building
  • Twitter doesn't want occupiers to do this to its building

Occupiers aren't the only ones resisting the government these days. Now Twitter has decided to sit with protesters, figuratively speaking.

We told readers last month about the New York judge who ordered the San Francisco-based Twitter to turn over tweets from Malcom Harris, a 22-year-old writer and one of the 700 Occupy protesters arrested for disorderly conduct. The judge decided that all things tweeted are public and will live on in the Twitter universe.

However, Harris' attorney's argued that releasing his tweets from that day in October would be a clear violation of his privacy -- and Twitter obviously agrees. On Monday, the company filed a motion to block the judge's

order requiring Twitter turn over Harris' communication history under the handle @destructuremal.

In the motion, Twitter claimed turning over Harris' tweets would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure.

"As we said in our brief, 'Twitter's Terms of Service make absolutely clear that its users own their content,'" Ben Lee, Twitter's legal counsel, told reporters. "Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users."

And that's probably a good thing. As Oakland Mayor Jean Quan can tell you, it's better to stay on the right side of Occupiers; otherwise, they can make your life hell!

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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