Top Leaderboard, Site wide
September 16, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates






On the Run


Truthdig Bazaar
Critical Thinking Unleashed

Critical Thinking Unleashed

By Elliot D. Cohen
$39.10

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Twitter: Censorship at Governments’ Requests

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on May 27, 2014

pixelant (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Last week, Twitter made a pro-Ukrainian Twitter feed inaccessible in Russia. In addition to blocking that account, Twitter has also worked with the Turkish government to monitor content that officials there find objectionable, but then Turkey shut down the entire platform a couple of months ago when Twitter was being used as a platform for anti-government protests, which no doubt factored into the tech company’s willingness to accommodate Turkish officials’ concerns. The New York Times also reported Thursday that Twitter blocked content that upset a Pakistani bureaucrat, honoring his request to censor tweets on five occasions.

Historically Twitter has taken great pride in how it is “the free speech wing of the free speech party,” as CEO Dick Costolo proclaimed in 2011. This unfettered freedom, unfortunately, did not last long. A year after making that proclamation, Twitter enacted a policy that allowed certain countries to block content from being viewed by people in their particular nation, although it would be “available in the rest of the world.”

Twitter now runs a database called Chilling Effects Clearinghouse that fields requests for censorship of certain content, with the premise that the company would allow some censorship rather than a complete ban of the platform.

Via Business Insider:

Twitter has yet to make a public statement about any of these cases, and it did not respond to our request for comment. The company has previously explained that it simply wants to follow the law each country it operates in:

“Many countries, including the United States, have laws that may apply to Tweets and/or Twitter account content. In our continuing effort to make our services available to users everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to reactively withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.”

“Over the last several years Twitter has made the explicit point of being a defender of free speech,” Galperin said. “This is something the CEO has said himself. You cannot claim to be a defender of free speech and then cave in to Pakistan or Russia. You simply can’t have it both ways. To watch it backpedal like this is extremely disappointing.”

Bolstering what Gigaom reported in 2012, this latest news adds to the troubling number of cases in which Twitter has blocked content in response to various governments’ requests.

—Posted by Donald Kaufman

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.