Question: Is an application infering the location of a user from public information available in the tweets legal as per rules of the road?


I am writing an application that would automatically infer the location of a user, based on things like: All your friends are Turkish, and you post in Turkish. You must be Turkish!

Is this acceptable as per rule 4e “use or access the Twitter API to aggregate, cache (except as part of a Tweet), or store place and other geographic location information contained in Twitter Content”?


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My view on this topic:
No, it wouldn’t be kosher to associate the location with the user directly this way. Users define their location in the location field – whatever is there, that’s in some ways fair game. That’s not geo data. They could be telling you they’re on Neptune and that would be just as a valid as a city in Turkey. Extrapolating the geo data associated with a tweet and applying that to a user is not a valid logical leap. The geo data needs to remain associated with the tweet and the tweet alone.