Micro blogging service and social media website Twitter revealed yesterday that they now have the ability to block certain Tweets from users across the world. While some Tweets may be perfectly legal in some countries, Twitter will begin to restrict Tweets in specific countries where content may be contentious.
“Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” Twitter wrote on their blog.
As an example, the company said that Tweets with “pro-Nazi content” will not be visible in France and Germany, where it is banned – but will be visible to the rest of the world.
The announcement comes in stark contrast to a blog post last year during the Arab uprisings, when Twitter said it won’t censor Tweets.
“We do not remove Tweets on the basis of their content. Our position on freedom of expression carries with it a mandate to protect our users’ right to speak freely and preserve their ability to contest having their private information revealed.”
Charlie Fripp – Acting online editor