Twitter to allow censorship of posts on a country by country basis
Sunday, January 29, 2012
The Twitter has changed its software support for censoring posts. With the new updates, Twitter can now withdraw individual posts and accounts in specific countries, as opposed to a global deletion. Twitter announced these changes in a blog post on Thursday, and released a clarification update on Friday.service
Twitter says it needed to make the changes to expand on an international level. It said in a blog post entitled Tweets still must flow, "we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content." Twitter says it will use the new feature only "when required to do so in response to what we believe to be a valid and applicable legal request."
|We will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression.|
The new tools will give Twitter the ability to withdraw posts and entire accounts in selected countries. Once the posts have been withdrawn, they are replaced with a message saying: "This Tweet/account has been withheld in: Country." and then links to a support page.
The social network has been used in the past as an outlet for political expression. During the, protesters in various countries used Twitter to mobilize support and report information to the outside world.
Some users have proposed boycotting Twitter. The organizationsent an open letter to Twitter's chairman, , saying "We urge you to reverse this decision, which restricts freedom of expression and runs counter to the movements opposed to censorship that have been linked to the Arab Spring, in which Twitter served as a sounding board... Twitter is depriving cyberdissidents in repressive countries of a crucial tool for information and organization."
- Brian Womack. "Twitter Gives Itself Added Flexibility in Censoring Messages" — , January 28, 2012
- Stephen Lawson (Twitter's Country-specific Blocking Brings Hazards and Hope" — , January 27, 2012). "
- "Tweets still must flow" — , January 26, 2012