One year after the beginning of the Egyptian uprising that it helped make possible, Twitter began its descent down what media commentator Jeff Jarvis called the “slippery slope of censorship,” announcing that it would begin to locally censor tweets that governments find objectionable.
“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,” the company said on its website. —ARK
The company was accused of censorship by many users and threatened with a one-day boycott on Saturday after announcing that it could remove tweets in certain countries which have “different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression”.
Twitter insisted that it would not use the gagging system in a blanket fashion, but would apply it on a case-by-case basis, as it happens when governments or organisations complain about individual tweets. But the reassurances were not enough to prevent a torrent of outrage from twitter users and freedom of speech campaigners.