- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twitter deleted two tweets authored by the founding editor of the new site Business Insider UK after the reporter allegedly violated the company’s copyright policy as the result of posts he made concerning Bank of America.

Jim Edwards wrote on Tuesday that he received two emails from Twitter over the weekend informing him that two of his tweets had been deleted for apparent copyright violations.

Those violations, Mr. Edwards explained, resulted from sharing a research document discussing Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“And while this is only two tweets, there is a principle at stake. Investment banks apparently have the power to censor journalists on Twitter, simply by asking,” said Mr. Edwards, who described the social media company’s decision to heed the financial giant’s demands as “depressing.”

“The two tweets were probably trivial. I say trivial because now they are deleted, I cannot read them. And this is the most sinister thing about it: I have no idea what Twitter agreed to censor for BAML, and no way of guessing what BAML’s objection was really about — or if it was even BAML who made the complaint,” he added.

Bank of America declined to answer Mr. Edwards‘ requests for comment, and Twitter directed him towards the company’s copyright policy. He has appealed Twitter’s decision, however, and said that as far as he’s concerned he hadn’t violated any rules by embedding excerpts from a report in his tweets.

“The claim here is (in my view) frivolous because I tweeted only a small portion of analyst Teo Lasarte’s note to clients. If I had tweeted out a PDF of the whole thing, for anyone to download, that would be a decent copyright violation claim. But copyright law in both the US and the UK contains an exemption for ‘fair use’ in news stories,” he added.

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