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[liberationtech] Fwd: Twitter May Censor Tweets in Individual Countries

gilad lotan giladlotan at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 08:34:46 PST 2012


From what I understand, Twitter will not simply make the content disappear, but rather, tweets will appeared grayed out in user streams. This is an incredibly important choice in UX design, raising awareness and visibility to the fact that the jurisdiction in which the user is located finds the content problematic. If actually designed this way, I suspect we'll see more and more folks questioning how censorship laws are implemented in their countries, and potentially activate users to question their unintended consequences.

Twitter will comply to laws under jurisdictions where it has employees. From what I understand, they will not respond to take down notices from countries such as China, Iran or Egypt as there's no Twitter employees there. But obviously, we need to see how they actually implement it, and how this actually plays out.

On Feb 2, 2012, at 2:10 AM, Jillian C. York wrote:

> If you're a journalist, I'd think you could do better than CIA conspiracy
> theories.
> 
> The mechanism is what's new: Rather than block content for their entire
> userbase, Twitter can now block country by country.  What I mean to say is
> that this is not a new policy: Twitter has already had the capability to
> block content (again, for their entire userbase) if required to do so by
> law.  They have, in fact, complied with over 4,000 DMCA requests, for
> example.  The new mechanism, therefore, is meant to *minimize *the impact
> of censorship.
> 
> This isn't different from what Google, Yahoo, and other companies do.
> 
> Of course, this is not to say that I'm a fan of this - it is still very
> much censorship - but as Brian Conley mentioned, this has a lot more to do
> with Twitter's forays into Europe than it does a desire to block at the
> behest of authoritarian government, something that I suspect we won't be
> seeing Twitter do (of course, as others have rightly pointed out, that
> requires trusting Twitter, and all companies *can* go down the wrong path).
> 
> -Jillian (not Lillian. Seriously, can you read?)
> 
> On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 2:58 AM, Mark Gould <mark.e.gould at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> (originally replied by mistake to sender, now to list, with addendum)
>> 
>> Dear list members, and god, I mean Lillian,
>> 
>> OK, facts then. How would the "mechanism" (which would be what) better
>> enforce (whose) already existing policy? I'm asking for information and
>> links, and if people want me to I'll go back through the list. I don't deal
>> with innuendo, or rumors, and you don't know me. I'm a journalist, an
>> editor, a writer who deals in the facts. So help, not insinuations, is what
>> I'm asking for.
>> 
>> Micah, thanks for the info on StatusNet... I am somewhat familiar with
>> Identi.ca, but I completely take your point that at least for now, to get
>> your message out it's hard to ignore Twitter. Craig, I'm still on the
>> fence, and will read your complete post. What I admit I'm completely naive
>> about and would like to be more informed goes somewhat to your point. If,
>> let's say, Twitter did not censor content that would reach Iran or some
>> other oppressive nation state, what is the world tribunal or tribunals that
>> would hold Twitter accountable. Perhaps before saying more, I'll read your
>> post, and research the legal aspects of this.
>> 
>> Mark
>> 
>> 
>> On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM, Jillian C. York <jilliancyork at gmail.com
>>> wrote:
>> 
>>> Dear god, not this again.
>>> 
>>> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> *+1-857-891-4244 |** jilliancyork.com | @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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