Twitter is creating a new tool to battle bots, stop spam and copyright infringement on their service. This is bad news of all the infringing Picbots and good news for people who get really cranky if you crack the same joke they did on Twitter. They can now ask to have your tweet taken down, by filing a complaint and Twitter will comply. The offending tweet will be replaced with a text that reads "this tweet from $user has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder" and will include a link to Twitter policy. Cue the sky is falling articles all over the place, examples at The Verge "Twitter is deleting stolen jokes on copyright grounds", and Techcrunch "Twitter Judges Tweeted Jokes Copyrightable".
Naturally, this has spawned many a twitter joke, and it looks like F-secure researched Mikko was first out with the silly back in 2012.
— Mikko Hypponen (@mikko) November 3, 2012
But yesterday as the news hit, others followed with several variants on the withheld joke:
This tweet from @scriptjunkie1 has been withheld due to lack of creativity in coming up with good tweets and not due to a copyright claim.
— scriptjunkie (@scriptjunkie1) July 26, 2015
This Tweet from @Futterish has been withheld for not being funny.
— Michael Futter (@Futterish) July 25, 2015
This Tweet from @SnoozeInBrief has been withheld in response to a report from literally anyone with any taste or discernment.
— Tom Freeman (@SnoozeInBrief) July 25, 2015
This tweet from @jmerriman has been withheld because it was terrible.
— John Merriman (@jmerriman) July 26, 2015
This tweet from @ChuckBaggett has been withheld because even though it's Twitter it was too dumb even for my low standards.
— ChuckBaggett person (@ChuckBaggett) July 26, 2015
*This Tweet Has Been Withheld Pending Approval From The NSA*
— Chad Sanborn (@ChadSanborn) June 30, 2013
This tweet has been withheld in your country due to a legal complaint from the government.
— ffuentes (@ffuentes_) January 30, 2013
Even AmazingPic joined in, mocking another pic-bot!
This Tweet from @EarthPix has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder. Learn more
— Amazing Pics (@AmazingPicx) December 10, 2013
As you can see, joke-variants are a part of human nature and these people were probably not copying each other they just came up with similar jokes. Repeating jokes are also part of human nature, some of Steven Wright's best one-liners are now part of people everyday colloquial.
It remains to be seen if this DMCA will be frequently used by people miffed that their jokes are traversing twitter, though Techcrunch found such an example. It's more likely that photographers and copyright owners usch as Universal have a blunt tool to get those bots to stop mislabeling their photos, or Planned Parenthood to stop using a copyrighted film gif in their snarky tweets. Either way it's a step in the right direction and about time that Twitter matured to this point, and if the policy has expanded to include 140 char jokes now, lots of twitter-Comedians are probably very happy about that.