Twitter Announces Censorship
Twitter, which has become an essential tool for facilitating international communication about global revolts, has announced that it will begin censoring content on a country-to-country basis, meaning Tweets that can appear in one country, may not be visible in another.
Twitter displayed the news on its blog yesterday, which contained this message:
One year ago, we posted "The Tweets Must Flow," in which we said,
“The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact … almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.”
As we continue to grow internationally, 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.
"Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively with hold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world," the Twitter blog said.
The Guardian commentedon how censorship might affect important communication:
In theory it could have been used last year in the UK to block tweets exposing details hidden by superinjunctions about celebrities, or in 2010 when Trafigura used a superinjunction to block the Guardian and BBC from revealing details about a report on activities in Africa.
A number of superinjunctions have been abandoned after details leaked on Twitter, to the displeasure of some judges.
However, activists in countries such as Syria or China might be concerned that they would be unable to see information they need to know.
See the Twitter post here.