Supplementary written evidence submitted by Twitter




Twitter, Inc.

1 Cumberland Place Fenian Street

Dublin Ireland

Date, 11 March 2022








Julian Knight MP

Chair, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee


Dear Chair,


Thank you for providing the opportunity to give oral evidence at your Committee in January. I said we would follow up on several areas - please see below.


France’s 2020 Law


Twitter has always been supportive of regulation that is fair and forward thinking, that protects what is best about our online environment, and promotes values of innovation, strong competition and consumer choice. This underpins the global, free and secure Open Internet, which should be available to all and built on open standards.


Promoting healthy participation on our service has been and continues to be our top priority. To most effectively serve this goal, we (1) require people using our service to be 13 years of age or older depending on the applicable law (2) provide privacy and safety controls for all individuals, including minors, who use our service, and (3) have expanded the ability of researchers to access Twitter data to study a range of topics, including mental health.


As Twitter has communicated to the European Commission in relation to the video-sharing provisions of Directive 2010/13/EU (the "AVMS Directive"), from which the definition of video sharing platforms derive, Twitter considers that its service does not constitute a video-sharing platform service within the meaning of the


AVMS Directive. This is because the provision of videos is neither the principal purpose nor the essential functionality of Twitter's service.


The French legislation (‘Studer Bill’) adopted in 2020 to regulate the commercial use of child influencers’ images applies only to video sharing platforms, as defined under the AVMS Directive and hence, is not applicable to Twitter.


We believe that our products and services provide the appropriate safeguards to balance potential risks to the people that use our service, including those who are minors, and are in alignment with the industry standards. We routinely engage in robust dialogues with regulators and explain how various checks are in place to launch products and features that respect all users’ privacy rights, including minors, and continue to invite them to identify anything else that we can improve on in this space. As always, we will continue to iterate as these efforts are not fixed to a point in time.


Twitter & Content Creators


One of our priorities has been enabling creators on Twitter to monetise their content directly. In 2021, Twitter launched two new products specifically tailored to content creators – significantly enhancing their capacity to generate revenue directly from the platform:


        Tip Jar enables users to request and receive payments/donations directly from their profile. If people appreciate a content creator’s output, they can express that gratitude through payment. Tips in the form of money and Bitcoin are sent off Twitter via third-party payment services. Twitter will not receive any portion of these payments, but the third-party payment services may charge fees.

        Super Follows is a way for people’s most engaged followers to help them earn money for their contributions on Twitter. When someone offers a Super Follows subscription, their Super Followers can see bonus Tweets created especially for them. When you Super Follow someone, they can earn up to 97% of what you pay, after in-app purchase fees, up to

$50,000 in lifetime earnings based on Twitter’s Super


Follows Creator Terms. After $50,000 in lifetime earnings, they can earn up to 80% of revenue after in-app purchase fees.


More broadly, Twitter also collaborates with creators through a variety of business relationships and product offerings. While we can’t provide specific examples due to commercial confidentiality, here are some examples:


        Custom Campaigns: Twitter partners with content creators to create bespoke content on a brand's behalf. Twitter has a dedicated team for such work named ArtHouse.

        Amplify Sponsorships: Twitter can work with a content creator to pair them with a brand through our Individual Creator Programs. A team called Global Content Partnerships oversees this pillar of work.

        Amplify Pre-Roll: Twitter can also run a brand's pre-roll advertising videos at scale on content from content creators.

        New Feature Promotion: From time to time, Twitter will also work with content creators to promote new features on the service. This is currently active in the US and similar examples have been in operation globally.


Support systems that are available to creators


It is our top priority to keep everyone who uses Twitter safe. ArtHouse, our internal team dedicated to creator management, deliver training sessions (called TweetSchool) on a monthly basis for creators and creator management agencies. TweetSchool aims to teach creators how to get the most out of the platform - this includes a dedicated section on safety, where we also provide information about the tools available.


All of the creators we work with are eligible for this support; and ArtHouse operates as a direct contact point for any questions or issues affecting creators.


We are aware that certain groups, such as high profile users, may be disproportionately affected by abuse and harassment. We have taken steps to support and collaborate with these communities and


our teams across the company to improve safety. In 2020, for instance, we created a series of videos with high-profile creators in the UK to talk about the experiences they have had and safety tools they have used. We deepened our partnerships over 2021 with specific groups of high profile users at risk of abuse - including, for instance, journalists and footballers.


In February this year, we expanded our Safety Mode pilot in the UK - having initially trialled the tool with our Trust and Safety Council and members of communities that have been particularly vulnerable to abuse. Safety Mode is a feature that temporarily blocks accounts for seven days for using potentially harmful language such as insults or hateful remarks — or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions. When the feature is turned on in your Settings, our systems will assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the Tweet’s content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier. Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or frequently interact with will not be autoblocked. Our expectation is that this tool could be particularly useful for those who receive a high volume of engagement on the platform.


Inclusion & Diversity at Twitter


Twitter has set company-wide objectives as part of its 2025 I&D Strategy. Some resources on this include:


        This dedicated I&D page on Twitter’s corporate website, including details on the current composition of the company’s global workforce

        Twitter’s 2021 I&D Annual Report


Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation, and we want to ensure our company reflects our service. This means building a team at Twitter as diverse as the people who use it. This includes the professionals we hire to lead our work on safety on Twitter - many of whom come from an activist background, have directly experienced these issues, and/or have led work on online safety prior to joining the company.


We have established objectives in order to attract, retain, and develop the talent necessary to deliver on our commitment. Critically, we have also been focusing on transparency around workforce representation. One example is through our quarterly Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) updates, which outline our progress in making Twitter a diverse and global workforce.


In 2020, we announced a set of new diversity goals for 2025: at least half of our global staff will be women and, in the US, at least a quarter will be underrepresented minorities, specifically Black, Latinx, Native American, Alaskan or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or Multiracial.


We have focused on applying an equity lens across every stage of the Tweep lifecycle: recruitment and hiring, onboarding, compensation and pay transparency, learning and development, and our work cultivating a truly inclusive environment across teams and regional geographies


Starting in 2021, for example, our executive team’s annual compensation is determined in part by their participation in our inclusion and diversity efforts, including their contributions toward meeting these workforce representation targets.


As of December 2021:

        The number of women making up our global workforce has increased to just under 45% (and 39% of our leadership roles).

        The representation of Black members of staff in the US has more than doubled since 2017 to 9% of our team and just under 8% of our leadership (director level and above).

        The representation of Asian members of staff in the US is 30%, and just under 20% of our leadership (director level and above).

        Latinx colleagues make up 8% of our US staff, and 4.5% of our leadership (director level and above).


Twitter has several Business Resource Groups. Each BRG is sponsored by a member of Staff (senior employees who report directly to the CEO). Here are some of the groups:



        @TwitterOpen for Twitter’s LGBTQ employees and allies.

        @TwitterParents for Twitter employees who are parents.

        @TwitterAble – for Twitter employees with disabilities and allies.

        @TwitterAsians for Asian Twitter employees and allies.

        @TwitterAlas for Twitter’s Latinx employees and allies.

        @TwitterStripes – for Twitter employees who served in the armed forces.

        @TwitterFaith for Twitter employees who celebrate their religion and others.


Twitter Blackbirds @Blackbirds

Twitter Blackbirds is the Business Resource Group for black employees across the world.


Here is the group’s mission statement: “Blackbird's mission is to be the Twitter family cookout - the stoop, the dinner bowl, the safe place where members and allies of the African diaspora can proudly embrace their identities and thrive in any professional environment.”


The BRG’s key goals are:


        Belonging: fostering a sense of inclusion among BRG members at Twitter through educating and informing allies and amplifying intersectionality.

        Community: forming strategic partnerships and engaging with the broader audience that we serve through recruiting and community service.

        Empowerment: providing resources for members to advance and excel through mentorship and professional development programming.


Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any further questions.

Yours sincerely, Ronan Costello

Public Policy Lead Europe, Turkey & Israel