September 25, 2022

Twitter

 

Social media website Twitter announced Thursday that it will begin blocking certain messages (tweets) on a country-to-country basis. Twitter has been known as a vehicle for free speech as well as a source for social and political organizing — notably during the protests in 2011 from the Egyptian uprising to Occupy Wall Street. Governments will now request Twitter to take down certain ‘illegal’ tweets, which will be blocked from its citizens but may still be visible by users outside of the censored country. Many have now raised concerns that this will open the door for repressive governmental censorship, in some ways defeating the benefits of Twitter all together.

In a statement published online Twitter told users that it could now “reactively withhold content from users in a specific country.” The company 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. […]

Free speech advocates expressed concerns that the new technology would encourage repressive governments to insist that Twitter take down critical content especially given the website’s role in helping to organize mass protests during last year’s Arab Spring.

“Whilst censoring tweets that break the law in individual countries is preferable to taking down the content altogether, we’re going to be monitoring this very closely to ensure that Twitter’s commitment to free speech isn’t watered down,” said Mike Harris, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship.

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  • Things like Hitlers MEIN KAMPF are available free on gutenberg.com In the age of Internet it is easy to get anything so why block tweets. Tweets help revolutions.

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