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How Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat has built digital success through “diamonds” in the rough
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Oct. 5, 2021, 12:59 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   October 5, 2021

On Tuesday Adam Wagner, a British human rights lawyer and law professor, wrote a tweet thread in response to a BBC article (“Priti Patel outlines measures to curtail disruptive activists’ travel“). Here’s the eight-tweet thread:

Wagner wouldn’t have been surprised to see one or more of these tweets embedded in a news article. That’s generally considered fair use. But he was surprised to see them appear on the Daily Mail’s website in the form of a sidebar to this piece, with no mention of their provenance, accompanied by his headshot.

“They regularly use my tweets in articles, which is fine,” Wagner told me via DM. “I accept that when I tweet anyone can quote from the tweet as long as it is attributed — but this is something new.” (The Daily Mail did not immediately respond to my request for comment.)

The response from Wagner’s Twitter followers was swift: Make ’em pay! When Wagner complained to them, the Mail temporarily replaced the tweets-in-a-column with his headshot and bio. They also agreed to pay a fee, and the tweets went back up — they’re now printed directly in the body of the article.

The fee? £250 (USD $340.99 at 0.73 pounds to the dollar, or the equivalent of 114 people paying $2.99 each for Twitter Super Follows). “They offered £100 but I suggested they take into account that what they did was probably illegal,” Wagner said, “and they agreed immediately.”

With eight tweets in the original thread, that works out to $42.62 per tweet, which is really not bad for a morning’s tweetage.

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