Tweets still must flow, even if some are censored
What the heck is happening to the Internet? It seems lately that it’s going to hell in a hand basket. Sure the Internet has always been a place where volatile things can happen, but it could be avoided on an individual basis. Now it appears the places that we come together as a community to interact and socialize in places that have become sacred is evolving and changing at a rapid pace and is veering out of control.
From the entertainment industry buying out the government to create bogus laws to control the global web, to site shut downs, protests and advanced social media tracking systems - the Internet is not what is used to be. To add insult to injury, Twitter announced something major yesterday.
Twitter has said that it is going to begin censoring tweets in certain countries, making a huge policy change from an open and free social media platform that helped Arab Spring and let people speak freely, to a more closed platform where you can expect that if your government doesn’t like what you are saying, Twitter will make sure to play by that government’s rules.
In Twitter’s blog post announcing the new policy change, they say:
As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. 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
This is just a sad statement. Twitter is saying that in order to grow internationally, they must bend to the rules of other countries, even if it means censoring content. It’s a big reason why Facebook has not been able to get into China, due to government censorship, for which I applaud Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for not giving in just to state their claim in that country.
There is also a legal aspect to part of the policy changes, which may have been fueled by the recent MegaUpload shut down. Twitter is now going to respond to DMCA requests to remove copyright infringing content, which can be viewed publicly using Chilling Effects who is going to help track and organize the claims.
This is not a good start to 2012 folks.