Twitter Can Now Censor Tweets In Individual Countries

Twitter has said that it now has the ability to block tweets on a country-by country basis, but has warned that removed content would still be visible in other countries.

However the company has said that it hasn’t used the technology yet and that it would clearly note when content has been removed.

The Tweets Must Go On

Twitter said that it must begin censoring tweets, if the company was going to continue to continue its international expansion.

“As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” said Twitter in a blog post. “Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.”

It explained that until now it was only able to remove a tweet globally but “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.”

“We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why,” it added.

Despite the new technology, Twitter renewed its commitment “to defend and respect each user’s voice” and declared “The Tweets must continue to flow.”

Twitter has been blocked by a number of governments, including China and the former Egyptian regime after it was used to ignite anti-government protests.

Nearly half of Brits said that they would support a temporary ban on social networking during periods of civil unrest after it was suggested that services such as Twitter played a major role in organising last summer’s riots.

However Twitter was also used as a force for good after it sparked a spontaneous cleanup of London during the rioiting.

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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