Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Twitter has quietly learned to censor and ban its users when government ask...

Twitter has a reputation as an open platform for expressing one's opinions. It's become a place for dissent and debate. It played a key role in the "Arab Spring" revolutions of the last couple of years.

But last week, it agreed to censor a pro-Ukrainian Twitter feed in Russia. It also blocked a "blasphemous" account in Pakistan. It's not the first time Twitter has censored politically sensitive accounts. Now, it seems, Twitter's reputation as a platform for free speech is at risk.

Here's a brief history of Twitter's foreign policy.

At a conference in 2011, CEO Dick Costolo proudly proclaimed, "We’re the free speech wing of the free speech party.” His words came after events in Egypt, Tunisia — and also the U.S. — where Twitter made it possible for people to organize protests and voice their ideas inside often repressive regimes. Twitter was a place where you could let your unfettered opinion ring free, even if your government wasn't too happy about it.

But then things began to change. Full story...

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