Ellen’s Oscar Tweet Breaks Record, But Also Raises Ownership Questions

This week it’s been hard to avoid all the Oscars buzz following Sunday night’s awards show, and the story that’s been headlining most tech and news outlets is not of a winner or loser, but of a new social media record.

Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with a smorgasbord of winners and nominees at Sunday’s bash, and the picture has now been retweeted well over 3 million times [at the time this blog was written]. This makes it the most retweeted post Twitter has ever seen, easily eclipsing the ~800k retweets Barack Obama’s “Four more years” message has received after winning re-election in 2012.

[tweet https://twitter.com/TheEllenShow/status/440322224407314432 align=’center’]


However, one interesting and not so obvious point that this story brings to light is the issue of ownership over publicly posted and shared content. In this particular case Ellen DeGeneres granted the Associated Press a licence to use the selfie, and it is being reproduced (for the most part) legally on sites other than Twitter. But it’s worth knowing what you do and don’t have ownership rights to when it come to social network posts.

The article Who Owns Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar Selfie? looks at this issue in some detail, and also asks the question of whether or not the person who takes the photo, or the one who posts it first is the content owner. Whatever your position on social content ownership, it’s worth remembering that the social networks themselves are the ones generally holding the aces up their sleeves when it comes to access.

To truly control your content you need to hold it yourself, and have permanent access to it. You never know what might happen to the social network who hold this content on your behalf, so make sure you take control of your data with SocialSafe.