Thursday, August 13, 2009

Terms & Conditions of a Twitter Monetizing Scheme

I recently clicked on what I thought would be an interesting article, via Twitter, and it sent me to RevTwt, some affiliate marketing program that allows people with "real" Twitter accounts to monetize their Tweets. Not that I'm interested in participating in such schemes, but I decided to look at their TOS (Terms of Service). [Note: Always check Terms & Conditions before signing up for anything and everything!]

First of all, I strongly dislike extremely long TOS / T&C statements, and especially those written in highly cumbersome legal jargon. The interesting thing about this TOS statement is that it was written partly in legal jargon and partly in "simple language" (some things they want you to understand, and some things they'd rather you overlook?). Either way, wouldn't it be great if all T&C pages had a searcheable Q&A somewhere on the page where common questions about some of the legal jargon would be answered?

Here's an exerpt from TOS statement:

"You agree to not use the Service to:

(d) forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any Content transmitted through the Service;

(e) upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);

(f) upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights ("Rights") of any party;

(g) upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas (such as shopping rooms) that are designated for such purpose (please read our complete Spam Policy);

(h) upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; "

Term (g) particularly shocked me, because essentially, the posts made in a user’s Twitter account via RevTwt are SPAM because they link you to RevTwt instead of to what the Tweet describes! Furthermore, the products/services the Twitter user is linking to are not even guaranteed to be things he or she has used/tried/reviewed personally - so how can this ad any value to the system?

Also, Part A section (b) of the TOS states that "at least 80% of the posts are written are not ads. You will not post more than one ad in a 2-hour period and will not post the same ad more than once in a 24-hour period". Come on! Who would continue following someone who's Tweets are 20% ads?

I seriously hope these montizing schemes do not increase in prevalence, or at least I hope Twitter will take action to prevent this noise which essentially turns valuable time into a waste of time.

If you know of any other Twitter monetizing / ad schemes you'd like to flag please share them here.

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