Monday, January 30, 2012
Twitter's New Censorship Policy A Win For Human Rights
An uproar has recently been caused with the announcement of Twitter's new policy of removing user comments at the request of offending countries. Many including myself enraged by what appeared as Twitter caving to the almighty dollar (or rupee, deutche mark, etc;) as well as other pressures from the various countries, however, this move is actually good for human rights. Previously, when Twitter was requested to remove a post due to said post violating whatever law the comment was permanently removed from Twitter. Now, however, the comment is merely blocked from site by users in that country. According to Technorati.com "Some are saying the new policy is actually one of the best ways a global social media company can protect free speech. Twitter has been required to remove offending material for some time, DMCA complaints in countries like the U.S. are one easy to understand example. Once removed, these Tweets are no longer available to anyone. The new policy would allow Twitter to block offending content in only the country that is complaining about that content, based on IP address." This is not the only kicker to the chagrin of countries committing blatant human rights violations. All content removed from Twitter can be found at http://www.chillingeffects.org/twitter . "This action essentially allows the rest of the community to be aware not only that the Tweet was removed, but the content of the Tweet. Tracking the actions of oppressive regimes would be possible with this type of scheme." Not only does Twitter give access to allow people to see what has been removed from Twitter, they show those in the countries where the content is banned from being seen how to bypass such restrictions by simply changing your IP address to show you live in an entirely different country. If only Google had come up with such an idea in China.