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Twitter Tool Allows Centralized Censorship

  1. Jan 27, 2012 #1
    The social networking service*Twitter announced a new tool today that allows it to selectively censor users’ tweets based on a host of criteria. *This has taken a lot of heat from some critics but there’s another side to this that … Continue reading →http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=virtualnavigator.wordpress.com&blog=11498882&post=843&subd=virtualnavigator&ref=&feed=1

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  3. Jan 28, 2012 #2


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    I actually see this as a positive thing. It's a good solution to permit countries to impose their own laws without restricting what people say and see in countries that have different laws. This is a big challenge with the international reach of the internet, and certainly is a better solution than countries taking the drastic measure of completely blocking access to certain sites if their content doesn't comply with the laws of those countries.
  4. Jan 28, 2012 #3


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    Thanks for the news and response. I would like to hear reactions from more people to this, if there are some, because since I don't use twitter I don't feel able to accurately imagine how this will actually play out.

    Here's a quote from "Virtual Navigator" that Greg linked to:
    ”Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.​

    What Moonbear says sounds reasonable. It seems like a positive outcome would depend on there being some balance or counterweight to ensure restrained and judicious use of the censorship power.
  5. Jan 30, 2012 #4


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    I was hoping to hear more different opinions about this. I think the issue is of historical importance.
    Central censorship of social networking.

    I often share Moonbear's PoV on things. But am not sure about this. Maybe an organization should draw the line somewhere and NOT concede past that point. So then if the regime wants more censorship and the twitter networker company says NO and the regime totally blocks the network, then the people may demonstrate disapproval and force the regime to allow the network.

    That way you could say that the people of the country have a clear visible issue that they can decide for themselves. they, rather than the regime, then decide how much freedom of speech and assembly they want.

    I don't use twitter and have little relevant experience, so can't say definitely what I think about this. But intuitively I would hope that Twitter would not be infinitely cooperative with whatever the recognized government of the region is. I would hope they draw the line somewhere.

    I don't want to reply after your post, Greg, because your byline on the menu might draw some responses. As it stands it worries me how little reaction there is. Efficient social networks potentially strengthen civil society. I think. If they are open. On the other hand a politically controlled online network could strengthen political control. Unfortunately I can't contribute meaningfully to the discussion since I lack direct experience.

    I can imagine a "one party" Twitter where ordinary citizens (if they want state approval, job advancement, and perks) are expected to make a certain numbers of tweets per year and to get a certain number of thumbs up. So ordinary citizens would tend to participate cooperatively.

    Unless more people are interested in talking, it would be a waste of your brother-in-law's time, would it not? Or maybe he would show up in General Discussion, which is more visible. Start a new thread with more fanfare.

    Why aren't people more concerned about political control of Twitter?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  6. Jan 30, 2012 #5
    My brother-in-law wrote the piece. I can try to get him in here to chat. Unfortunately he's on vacation at the moment :)
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