Twitter Hands Over Protesters Deleted Tweets

Twitter on Friday forfeited the Occupy Wall Street tweets of Malcom Harris. The social network handed over the tweets after Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino on Friday threatened the social network with massive fines if it was held in contempt of court.

Malcolm Harris’ tweets were deleted shortly after he took part in an Occupy protest on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Since that time, prosecutors have spent three months in an attempt to undelete the tweets from Twitter’s database.

The tweets will remain under seal until September 21 when an Article 78 appeal will be heard.

In asking for access to the deleted tweets, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued that Twitter owns all user-generated content because of its incorporated status.

Harris protested with 700 Occupy Wall Street followers on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, 2011. After appearing to resist police requests, he was charged with a disorderly conduct charge.

Following Twitter’s decision to hand over the data Harris tweeted on Friday morning:

He then told Mashable:

“I’m disappointed that Twitter has decided to hand over my Tweets, but I still have hopes the courts will make the right decision before the information gets handed over to the prosecutors.”

Twitter had publicly spoke out against the tweet subpoena, fighting to safeguard user data regardless of its initial public posting status.

Do you think Twitter should be forced to hand over deleted user data?