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Twitter Censorship Communications Government Social Networks

How Will You React To Twitter's Regional Censorship Plan? 181

Despite (and probably partly because of) its much-touted role as a communications link in the Arab Spring protest movements of the last year, Twitter announced a few days ago that it could be (which I take to mean "will be, and probably are") selectively blocking tweets based on local governments' requests. This AP story (as carried by gives an overview of the negative reaction this move has drawn; unsurprisingly, there's talk of a boycott. The EFF has what seems to be a fair look at the reality of Twitter take-downs, noting that for various reasons they remove certain content already, but not as much as some parties would like; VentureBeat looks at the thousands of take-down notices the company received last year. If you use Twitter, does the recently announced region-specific blocking change what you'll use it for?
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How Will You React To Twitter's Regional Censorship Plan?

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  • That's a great idea! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:40PM (#38857833)

    Now that they are saying they are willing and able to police every message that goes through their system, they are now responsible for content. Lawyers everywhere rejoice.

    So now if anyone tweets anything illegal or uses twitter in the process of committing a crime, Twitter opens itself up to legal repercussions. If they can censor some stuff, they should be able to censor other stuff too. Failure to do so under our legal system could be actionable.

    So long, Twitter. We hardly knew ye.

  • Re:I won't (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:54PM (#38857967)

    twitter and facebook remind me SO MUCH of the cb craze in the 70's.

    you could spot the unintelligent ones easily. they 'liked' cb.

    today, the fools 'like' fb and twit.

    its always handy to have a 'fools identification' device of some kind or another, isn't it?

    on topic: I'll be happy to see those services (that are centrally controlled and owned by ONE COMPANY (each) fail due to people not wanting to deal with censorship. I really miss the old days where the USENET model was popular. you know, not one single company owning it, not one single place to spy on people, not one single place to filter what the people want to say and see and hear. then, web-based this and that came into playing and websites are owned by single entities, not 'the people'. that was the start of the end of net.freedom.

    I hope fb and T die. they are not really freedom based, are they? we used to have mass communication tools that were truly freedom based. mabye we can revisit them again, in some other way?

    if a single company or group is behind it, its bad. yes, including the beloved google, too.

  • Re:I won't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:28PM (#38858237) Homepage

    Twitter lost me when they ruined their search capability.

    Google+ easily replaced it, more convenient than Twitter, Email, video conferencing beats telephone, etc.

    But the CB analogy doesn't hold water, as Google+ replaced email/phone for many people I interact with, they are non-technical, so find it more convenient. Meanwhile my technical friends appreciate it too, given the control and ease they have with the tool.

    The only frustrating part, telephones used to be ubiquitous. Nowadays, some people never check voicemail, some people never answer the phone but rely on voicemails; some people expect texts, some never text; some email, some consider email old-school/too formal; some use Twitter, some use Google+ (thankfully nobody in my varied social circles used Facebook)--to contact anyone requires not just knowing their number/address/handle/whatever, but also knowing what their preferred communication medium is!

  • Re:I won't (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:32PM (#38858275)


    I "like" facebook because it got me in contact with a friend that I hadn't spoken to since I left england when I was in the 6th grade.

    I "like" facebook because some of my friends, including my significant other, make funny posts or post funny pictures.

    I "like" facebook because with my busy personal life, where I have *maybe* 2 1/2 days of free time to myself per week, I can easily keep up with my friends and they don't have to feel rushed or pressured to talk to me right away.

    Nothing that I put up on FB is anything that I'm worried about hiding. Besides, if someone of any relative importance wants to find out something about me, they will. Do you honestly think you're invisible? You fall under the same rules that I do.

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:37PM (#38858301) Homepage

    I'm not a Twitting Twat, so I can't care about this. Nor am I a Farcebooker.

    In fact, I detest the trend of every website to have these obnoxious pop-up "friend" and "share" buttons that go to there and a few other lame hipster sites, such as Redduuhh. When /. added that a few weeks ago, I promptly added the icons image to my AdBlock, though the cursor still changes over that area. (Of course all of was already in my AdBlock.)

  • Re:I won't (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @04:37PM (#38859343) Homepage Journal

    I'll react. I'll be quite pleased. Because it won't work.

    Any censored Tweet will be retweeted, both through Twitter's atuto-retweet function and manually. If Twitter censor auto-re-tweets, then 'fine'. But they won't be able to censor manual re-tweets.

    All it will take is for someone in a censored country to mention that they can't see a certain tweet, and someone in a non-censored country can manually re-tweet it.

    The censoring country's courts would then have to apply for each re-tweet or subsequent Tweet mentioning the same information to be censored.

    All this will do will raise the profile of the censorship taking place and raise awareness in the censorees that they are being controlled by those doing the censoring.

    And that will influence those being controlled to become more active in the defense of the freedoms. All-in-all, a good outcome.

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde