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[liberationtech] Where can I find the Twitter censorship handbook?

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Sat Dec 15 07:27:28 PST 2012


..on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 03:24:32PM +0100, Jillian C. York wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM, Julian Oliver <julian at julianoliver.com>wrote:
> 
> >
> > Per-country censorship:
> >
> >
> > http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/twitter-censorship-policy-global-outrage_n_1238188.html
> >
> > Trending topics:
> >
> >
> > http://blog.tweetsmarter.com/twitter-rules/twitter-admits-editing-offensive-trending-topics-plans-more/
> >
> > Or not:
> >
> >
> > http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/01/27/twitter-isnt-censoring-you-your-government-is/
> >
> > There was also this case of Twitter blocking an account with pro-Nazi
> > sentiment:
> >
> >
> > http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57534798-93/report-twitter-bans-german-group-for-hate-speech/
> >
> > Even if Twitter did 'censor' tweets/accounts etc, we can hardly get all
> > that
> > upset about it (although it should be in the TOS).
> >
> 
> It's that sort of in-the-box thinking that allows so many to just sit back
> and watch Facebook et al take over the online public sphere, changing the
> norms of how we interact, what we say, etc.  Just because it's not
> government censorship doesn't mean we oughtn't fight against it.

I'm not at all saying that we shouldn't fight it but we need to be clear about
the terms of the challenge and our expectations. In doing so we strengthen our
position, rather than just fighting symptoms. 

It's my belief that we need to get in there early and educate people that these
services, marketed heavily as 'gifts' or as free services, come with distinct
threats to civil liberties, distinct techno-political challenges. I would say we
are better to /expect/ that they will breach basic rights rather than be
surprised when they do, as if the last few years of abuses online hasn't given
us enough cues there.

I often hear people likening Facebook and Twitter to The Commons, a public
property like air or language.  This is a remarkably powerful position for a
company to be in and we need to remind each other that such companies are not
/necessarily/ working at all in the Public interest.  These are private
for-profit businesses and we need to develop the same healthy level of suspicion
and vigilance in our dealings with them as we would any other.

Cheers,

--
Julian Oliver
http://julianoliver.com
http://criticalengineering.org

> >
> > ..on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 12:47:31AM -0800, Brian Conley wrote:
> > > John,
> > >
> > > So am I mistaken that Twitter "blocks" (and by blocks I mean does not
> > allow
> > > to be visible) certain content in certain countries, in accordance with
> > > local regulation?
> > >
> > > I'm not saying its right or wrong, but unless I'm mistaken about this,
> > its
> > > a bit melodramatic to get on your high horse about the "lack if
> > censorship
> > > or mediation" of tweets, which, if twitter filters tweets based on
> > location
> > > is just prima facie untrue.
> > >
> > > I happen to completely understand why twitter does this and believe the
> > > ability to "change your set location" in order to avoid the filtering is
> > a
> > > good workaround. That said, no need to be rude, dramatic, or misleading.
> > >
> > > Brian
> > > On Dec 15, 2012 4:38 AM, "John Adams" <jna at retina.net> wrote:
> > >
> > > > I work there. Read the damn TOS.  Twitter -does not- censor or meditate
> > > > content.
> > > >
> > > > https://support.twitter.com/articles/15794-abusive-behavior
> > > >
> > > > and
> > > >
> > > > https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311-the-twitter-rules
> > > >
> > > > It's a serious affront to all the work we've done to enable people to
> > > > freely communicate, and the number of times that we've gone to bat for
> > > > users,  to make posts like these.
> > > >
> > > > -john
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM, Griffin Boyce <griffinboyce at gmail.com
> > >wrote:
> > > >
> > > >>   Have you tried contacting twitter support directly? In the first
> > > >> instance, it's likely that you were reported by someone who saw it
> > and took
> > > >> offense to it.
> > > >>
> > > >>   As for having tweets reported for spam, it could have been a
> > competitor
> > > >> (and that type of reporting is easy to automate). But the Twitter spam
> > > >> algorithm could also have interpreted the [short tweet length + link +
> > > >> popular hashtag] as being spam.
> > > >>
> > > >>   From a merchant perspective, we kind of operate at her majesty's
> > > >> pleasure.  By that I mean that social networks make the rules,
> > enforce them
> > > >> (or not), and our only real recourse is to move to another, less
> > populated
> > > >> social network.  I'd recommend talking to twitter support before
> > totally
> > > >> writing it off, but you might not get a resolution for the reasons
> > > >> mentioned above.
> > > >>
> > > >> Best,
> > > >> Griffin Boyce
> > > >> @abditum
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 8:42 PM, Uncle Zzzen <unclezzzen at gmail.com
> > >wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> Warning for the politically-correct: this message contains the
> > N-word. I
> > > >>> believe it is in context :)
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> --
> > > >> "I believe that usability is a security concern; systems that do
> > > >> not pay close attention to the human interaction factors involved
> > > >> risk failing to provide security by failing to attract users."
> > > >> ~Len Sassaman
> > > >>
> > > >> PGP Key etc: https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/User:Fontaine
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> --
> > > >> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> > > >> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > --
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> > > >
> >
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> >
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> US: +1-857-891-4244 | NL: +31-657086088
> site:  jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/>* | *
> twitter: @jilliancyork* *
> 
> "We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the
> seemingly impossible to become a reality" - *Vaclav Havel*

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