When a party files a suit claiming a breach of contract, the first question the judge must answer is whether a contract existed between the parties. These are the six elements that must exist to show that a contract existed:
1. Offer. An offer can be oral or written as long as it is not required to be written by law. In this instance, Twitter offers you an account, which is the definite expression and overt action that began your contract. The Offer is simply what is offered to another for the return of that person's promise to act. Twitter's offer is spelled out in terms that are specific and certain, such as the identity and nature of the account being offered and under what conditions and/or terms it is offered.
2. Acceptance. As a general proposition of law, the acceptance of the offer made by one party by the other party is what creates the contract. This acceptance, as a general rule, cannot vary the terms of the offer, or alter it, or modify it. To do so makes the acceptance a counter-offer. Though this proposition may vary from state to state, the general rule is that there are no conditional acceptances by law. By accepting the terms for a Twitter account, you have established a binding contract that Twitter must honor.
3. Consideration. Consideration for a contract may be money or may be another right, interest, or benefit, or it may be a detriment, loss or responsibility given up to someone else. Consideration is an absolutely necessary element of a contract. Your consideration is allowing Twitter to profit from your Twitter activity. The consideration need not have any particular monetary value. Mutual promises are adequate and valid consideration as to each party as long as they are binding.
4. Capacity of the Parties to Contract. The general presumption of the law is that all people have a capacity to contract. A person who is trying to avoid a contract would have to plead his or her lack of capacity to contract against the party who is trying to enforce the contract. It is for this reason that children under a certain age are not allowed to have a social media account. They lack the capacity to bind themselves to the contract.
5. Intent of the Parties to Contract. It is a basic requirement to the formation of any contract, be it oral or written, that there has to be a mutual assent or a "meeting of the minds" of the parties on all proposed terms and essential elements of the contract. It has been held by the courts that there can be no contract unless all the parties involved intended to enter into one. This intent is determined by the outward actions or actual words of the parties and not just their secret intentions or desires. In other words, Twitter made a general offer and you accepted it.
6. Object of the Contract. A contract is not enforceable if its object is considered to be illegal or against public policy. This is not an issue so long as you did not intend to use your Twitter account for reasons that are illegal or against public policy. This is true for drugs and prostitution or any other activity if considered criminal.
After evidence is heard, each side gives a closing argument. In a jury trial, the judge will explain the law that is relevant to the case and the decisions the jury needs to make. The jury generally is asked to determine whether the defendant is responsible for harming the plaintiff in some way, and then to determine the amount of damages that the defendant will be required to pay. If the case is tried before a judge without a jury, known as a “bench” trial, the judge will decide these issues or order some kind of relief to the prevailing party. In a civil case, the plaintiff must convince the jury by a “preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., that it is more likely than not) that the defendant is responsible for the harm the plaintiff has suffered.