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Twitter may censor tweets in individual countries



Twitter may censor tweets in individual countries


SAN FRANCISCOTwitter has refined its technology so it can censor messages on a 
country-by-country basis. 

The additional flexibility announced on Thursday is likely to raise fears that Twitter's

 commitment to free speech may be weakening as the short-messaging company 
expands into new countries in an attempt to broaden its audience and make more money. 

But Twitter sees the censorship tool as a way to ensure individual messages, or tweets, 

remain available to as many people as possible while it navigates a gauntlet of 
different laws around the world. Before, when Twitter erased a tweet it disappeared
 throughout the world. Now, a tweet containing content breaking a law in one country 
can be taken down there and still be seen elsewhere. 

Twitter will post a censorship notice whenever a tweet is removed. That's similar to

 what Internet search leader Google Inc. has been doing for years when a law in a 
country where its service operates requires a search result to be removed. 

Like Google, Twitter also plans to the share the removal requests it receives from 

governments, companies and individuals at the chillingeffects.org website.
 The similarity to Google's policy isn't coincidental. Twitter's general counsel is
 Alexander Macgillivray, who helped Google draw up its censorship policies while
he was working at that company. 

``One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user's 

voice,'' Twitter wrote in a blog post. ``We try to keep content up wherever and 
henever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't. The tweets 
must continue to flow.'' 

Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, is tweaking its approach now that its 

nearly 6-year-old service has established itself as one of the world's most powerful 
megaphones. Daisy chains of tweets already have played instrumental roles in 
political protests throughout the world, including the Occupy Wall Street movement 
in the United States and the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia and Syria. 

It's a role that Twitter has embraced, but the company came up with the new

 filtering technology in recognition that it will likely be forced to censor more
 tweets as it pursues an ambitious agenda. Among other things, Twitter wants 
to expand its audience from about 100 million active users now to more than 1 billion. 

Reaching that goal will require expanding into more countries, which will mean 

Twitter will be more likely to have to submit to laws that run counter to the 
free-expression protections guaranteed under the First Amendment in the US. 
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Friday, January 27



Twitter may censor tweets in individual countries


SAN FRANCISCOTwitter has refined its technology so it can censor messages on a 
country-by-country basis. 

The additional flexibility announced on Thursday is likely to raise fears that Twitter's

 commitment to free speech may be weakening as the short-messaging company 
expands into new countries in an attempt to broaden its audience and make more money. 

But Twitter sees the censorship tool as a way to ensure individual messages, or tweets, 

remain available to as many people as possible while it navigates a gauntlet of 
different laws around the world. Before, when Twitter erased a tweet it disappeared
 throughout the world. Now, a tweet containing content breaking a law in one country 
can be taken down there and still be seen elsewhere. 

Twitter will post a censorship notice whenever a tweet is removed. That's similar to

 what Internet search leader Google Inc. has been doing for years when a law in a 
country where its service operates requires a search result to be removed. 

Like Google, Twitter also plans to the share the removal requests it receives from 

governments, companies and individuals at the chillingeffects.org website.
 The similarity to Google's policy isn't coincidental. Twitter's general counsel is
 Alexander Macgillivray, who helped Google draw up its censorship policies while
he was working at that company. 

``One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user's 

voice,'' Twitter wrote in a blog post. ``We try to keep content up wherever and 
henever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't. The tweets 
must continue to flow.'' 

Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, is tweaking its approach now that its 

nearly 6-year-old service has established itself as one of the world's most powerful 
megaphones. Daisy chains of tweets already have played instrumental roles in 
political protests throughout the world, including the Occupy Wall Street movement 
in the United States and the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia and Syria. 

It's a role that Twitter has embraced, but the company came up with the new

 filtering technology in recognition that it will likely be forced to censor more
 tweets as it pursues an ambitious agenda. Among other things, Twitter wants 
to expand its audience from about 100 million active users now to more than 1 billion. 

Reaching that goal will require expanding into more countries, which will mean 

Twitter will be more likely to have to submit to laws that run counter to the 
free-expression protections guaranteed under the First Amendment in the US. 
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