Twitter is going into the censorship business, and followers don’t like it.
The hugely popular social network, which unwittingly has helped fuel pro-democracy movements in the Middle East and elsewhere by allowing pretty much unfettered access to tweets, has decided to take down tweets that may break the law in one country but allow that same tweet to be seen in other countries. Previously, when a tweet came down it vanished from screens throughout the world.
Twitter says it’ll post a censorship notice whenever a tweet is taken down and it’ll also post on the website chillingeffects.org censorship notices that it gets from governments, companies and individuals.
Twitter defends the move as “a good thing for freedom of expression, transparency and accountability,” according to an Associated Press report.
The freedom-of-the-press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, however, says Twitter will help suppress voices of dissent.
From the AP:
“By finally choosing to align itself with the censors, Twitter is depriving cyberdissidents in repressive countries of a crucial tool for information and organization…Twitter’s position that freedom of expression is interpreted differently from country to country is unacceptable.”
Has Twitter gone to the dark side? Would you want your tweet removed just because Washington doesn’t particularly like it?