Twitter now lets governments decide what content is suitable for their citizens

Technology News Blog

Twitter announced a major change to its censorship policy Thursday to allow the social media service to choose which tweets are seen in which countries. Though it has yet to use the ability, Twitter says it can now "reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world."

In an entry on Twitter's own blog, the company cited the countries of France and Germany, which specifically ban pro-Nazi content. This announcement would presumably mean that users in the United States are finally allowed to send pro-Nazi tweets — a dubious honor, but one that's important on First Amendment grounds.

Freedom of Speech is one of the United States' most cherished rights, which makes it easy to forget that not all people around the world are free to say whatever is on their mind. Twitter was blocked in Egypt during the 2011 Egyptian Protests in the country, and the country of China forbids its citizens from using the social networking service.

Twitter says it remains opposed to censorship, but that censorship is a cost of doing business in certain countries. The company promises full transparency with the new policy, keeping a list of all takedown requests on a new page.

[Image source: WordRidden]

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This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Tecca

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