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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Just like the Brazilian soccer team, @ReplayLastGoal is leaving the World Cup early.

Twitter suspended the account that automatically tweeted out a video and GIF of every World Cup goal, according to a tweet sent by Xavier Damman, who developed the Twitter bot.

In late June, Damman tweeted that he had received a takedown notice from Twitter, but the bot continued to send out Tweets through the semifinal games earlier this week. FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and the TV networks that own the rights to the games have been vigilant about removing unofficial GIFs, videos, and images of the World Cup games.

At Recode, Peter Kafka, who first wrote about @ReplayLastGoal being removed, questioned how Twitter will handle instances like this in the future:

I do wonder how Twitter will approach this stuff for other big global sports events. Right now, the company’s approach is to leave anything and everything up until it gets DMCA takedown requests, more or less like YouTube. Unlike YouTube, however, Twitter doesn’t seem to have an expedited process available to let copyright holders pull stuff off the site.

In ReplayLastGoal’s case, for instance, it seems to have taken Twitter 11 days to take the account offline.

But Twitter is also the same company that’s basing much of its sales strategy around the idea that it’s working with TV programmers, not against them. One of its highest-profile ad products, for instance, lets programmers take sports highlight reels and turn them into ads minutes after they run on TV. That pitch may be harder to make if those highlights are already up on Twitter.

— Joseph Lichterman
                                   
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