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Concern over Twitter’s country-by-country censorship ability

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JEROME TAYLOR
London Independent
January 28, 2012

Twitter is facing a backlash from its users after the website said it had the technology to censor tweets on a country by country basis.

The revelation has sparked criticism that the fast-growing short messaging site is departing from its free-speech principles as its looks for ways to further its global footprint and profits.

In a statement published online the San Francisco-based company told users that it could now “reactively withhold content from users in a specific country.” Twitter defended the technology as a way of ensuring the maximum possible audience could view its content whilst adhering to specific laws in different countries.

Previously when Twitter was forced to delete a tweet it would be taken down worldwide. Now individual tweets can be blocked in specific countries with Twitter promising to flag when a comment is taken offline.

An example Twitter gave was Germany where glorification of Nazism or publishing Hitler’s Mein Kampf, for example, is illegal. If a tweet broke German law, Twitter could block users in Germany from reading the tweet but continue to allow others worldwide to see it.

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This article was posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 4:50 am





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