Online social networking service, Twitter, has started banning people who re-tweet other persons’ jokes without crediting the pioneer.

The social media giant started to remove tweets by people who steal witty one-liners replacing the offending message with a note saying it has been ‘withheld’ over copyright issues.

Twitter’s action followed complaint by Olga Lexell, a freelance writer from Los Angeles, who said she came up with the joke, and filed a request for Twitter to take down tweets of the joke.

She said it was repeating her own material and that is how she makes a living.

Some of the copycat gags were later removed by Twitter and replaced with the message: ‘This tweet has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder.

Foreign media quoted Olga as saying: ‘I simply explained to Twitter that as a freelance writer

I make my living writing jokes (and I use some of my tweets to test out jokes in my other writing).

‘I then explained that as such, the jokes are my intellectual property, and that the users in question did not have my permission to repost them without giving me credit.”

It will come as a relief to comedians and writers who have long been frustrated over seeing their jokes shared without attribution on Twitter.

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