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Twitter Starts Censoring Content

Posted: January 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Technoid Computer News | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Twitter Starts Censoring Content

Twitter Starts Censoring ContentÜbermicroblog, Twitter has announced that it will begin restricting tweets in certain countries, marking a dramatic policy shift for the site.

The site said even with the possibility of such restrictions, Twitter would not be able to coexist with some countries.

“As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” Twitter wrote in a blog post. “Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there,” it said.

Twitter gave as examples of restrictions it might cooperate with “certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content”.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to elaborate on the blog. “Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world,” the Twitter blog said.

Twitter’s decision to begin censoring content represents a significant departure from its policy of just one year ago, when anti-government protesters in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries coordinated mass demonstrations through the microblog and, in turn, thrust Twitter’s disruptive potential into the global spotlight.

As the revolutions brewed last January, Twitter signalled it would take a hands-off approach to censoring content in a blog post entitled The Tweets Must Flow ::::

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“We do not remove tweets on the basis of their content,” the blog post read. “Our position on freedom of expression carries with it a mandate to protect our users’ right to speak freely and preserve their ability to contest having their private information revealed.”

Last year, Twitter general legal counsel Alex Macgillivray declared that the company was “from the free speech wing of the free speech party”. In the interest of transparency, Twitter said it had built a mechanism to inform users in the event that a tweet is being blocked.

Twitter’s move comes at a time when internet companies such as Google and Facebook have wrestled with foreign governments over freedom of speech and privacy issues as they expand rapidly overseas.

@verity_penfold


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