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Twitter Can Now Prevent A Tweet From Being Seen In Certain Countries

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Sure, Twitter is used to let people know that your cat looks especially cute today or how much a movie sucked, but it’s also been known to spread political, religious and other more serious messages across the globe. Now, Twitter has initiated a new policy where questionable tweets will no longer be blocked globally if a problem arises but just in certain areas of the world where they present a conflict of ideas or policy. 

Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco, California but started to realize over the last few years what an impact they have globally. Last year, in response to Twitter users coordination of the anti-government protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries, they wrote, “The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact … almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.”

As a result of their continuing impact, they’ve decided measures had to be taken to provide for the largest spread of information as possible, while limiting censorship. “As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” they posted on their blog yesterday. “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.”

Previously, if there was an issue from a specific country, Twitter had to remove content on a global scale. No longer. “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,” they write. “We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”

As part of this expanded transparency, they’ve also extended their partnership with Chilling Effects to compile a list of cease and desist notices sent to Twitter as well as other notices.

They admit they have not had to implement their new idea yet. “If and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld,” they write. “One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t.”

What do you think of the new move?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."