Twitter to Censor Tweets on Country by Country Basis

Twitter caved in to censorship last week when it announced it will censor tweets on a country by country basis. Tweets blocked by the government in one country will still show up in another country.
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, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

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. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.
Twitter shows here what a censored tweet or username will look like. You will see a grayed-out tweet or username that says "Tweet withheld" or "@Username withhheld."

Censored Tweet

Countries do have different rules for free speech, but surely Twitter could have resisted caving in to the censorship demands of every single country. On a positive note, Twitter does say it will share the tweet and username removal requests it receives from governments. Take a look:

Image: Twitter

Posted on January 28, 2012

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