Twitter CENSORED | SocialExcerpts
Twitter CENSORED Jan 28
On Thursday, Twitter dropped a bombshell which shook the whole world. From now, Twitter can now unilaterally censor country-specific contents. Until now, any malafide content was deleted from the site universally. But as per the new rule, they can now block contents for a certain nation while global users may still have access to it.
“When we receive a request from an authorized entity, we will act in accordance with appropriate laws and our terms of service,” Mashable quoted a representative of Twitter.
The decision to censor any content will be made public on Chilling Effects. Affected users will be notified about the content which has been censored, authorities said. “The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact,” the company blog said. “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.”
Naturally, the response of the online fraternity to this decision was not positive. Many users expressed outrage over Twitter’s change of stand on content censorship. Users across the world trended #TwitterBlackout hashtag to voice their angst. Anonymous (which had threatened to blackout Facebook on 28 January) supported the hashtag. One of its tweets read: “SPREAD THE WORD #TwitterBlackout I will not tweet for the whole of January 28th due to the new twitter censor rule #Twitter #J28″.
A war correspondent in Afghanistan, and a prominent activist, Mustafa Kazemi, feels that Twitter’s latest decision to censor content for specific countries is influenced by requests from the U.S. government to remove the Taliban from Twitter. “This censorship can be a blow to the independence and freedom of speech online and will widely affect the twitter usage market globally, particularly in the countries where there is a high graph of anti-US activities online,” Kazemi opined.
Twitter’s latest decision to censor content on requests from governments raises serious questions. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and several other mass uprisings in various parts of the world became possible due to active participation of users on Twitter. Had content been censored back then, would these protests become successful? Should Twitter not uphold freedom of speech rather than side with governments trying to stifle voices of protest?
What do our readers feel?
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