By Shea Bennett on August 4, 2014 12:00 PM
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Posts Tagged ‘twitter blocked’
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After blocking access to Twitter on March 21 and increasing the severity of that ban a few days later, Turkey has finally lifted the suspension of Twitter across the country after the nation’s Constitutional Court ruled that the move, which was widely condemned, had breached freedom of expression.
The turmoil in Turkey and the government’s subsequent blocking of social media sites – including the recent banning of and legal battle with Twitter – highlights just how powerful social media can be in times of unrest.
And Turkey isn’t the only country to block social media – there are at least six other countries right now that are blocking Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
We’ve all witnessed the important role that networks like Twitter and Facebook have played in recent world events. And we’ve also seen how quickly governments remove access to these networks when they threaten their survival, as well as the levels that people are prepared to go to get around these blockades (and even how the biggest players in tech have helped).
Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), says that governments must “regard the internet as basic infrastructure – just like roads, waste and water. We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have access to participate.”
Few would disagree. But the internet as both an entity and concept is vast, and a fundamental right to access it as a whole is not the same thing as the right to access every part of it. And just how deep do these rights go – for example, is access to Twitter something that somebody in prison should expect? Or even demand?
After all, it’s not unheard of for prisoners to be using Facebook and other mediums to broadcast their message to the world. Right now, sure, it’s frowned upon, but as a society (certainly in the West) we’ve softened our expectations of prison life for all but the most evil of criminals. I don’t think anyone really likes the idea of Richard Ramirez having a Facebook page, but what about your more common or garden inmate? Should a guy doing six months for tax evasion lose all access to the social space, or is that excessive and unnecessary? Perhaps even cruel and unusual punishment?
Right now, I suspect that most people would feel that Twitter was a luxury, certainly for the majority of detainees. But times change, and much as everybody has a right to their one phone call, it’s not completely out of the realms of possibility that, somewhere down the line, access to social networks for prisoners will be fairly commonplace, albeit with inevitable (and necessary) restrictions in place. And there will always be exceptions, those that committed crimes so heinous that the very thought of them having any legitimate contact with the rest of the world would make us shudder.
Or will it? Rights are rights, after all, even for the most wicked of prisoners. And who are we to decide otherwise?
Okay. So what are you going to do about it?
Chances are if Twitter (or Facebook, for that matter) is blocked at your company then the person who made that decision almost certainly doesn’t use Twitter and is therefore completely ignorant about the benefits.
Don’t just accept it – educate them.
Of course, you have to understand the difference between using Twitter productively and goofing around, and be able to demonstrate that effectively.
Because if YOU don’t know, how can you possibly expect them to?
This may not be a very new development, but it’s new to me.
Last year I wrote quite a popular article informing users how to work out if somebody has blocked them on Twitter. Well, that information is now a little dated, as Twitter has provided us with a much easier way to tell if you’ve been blocked – just click on the follow button.
That’s all it takes. If you’ve been blocked by that user, Twitter will tell you. I tried it on @stephenfry, and here’s a screenshot of the message I received.
There it is in black and white – this user has blocked you from following them.
Nice and simple, definitely. However, this will inevitably lead to more spats on the network, as people take offense to being blocked by their idols and peers. Sometimes, for noÂ apparentÂ reason.
(Hat-tip to Peter for the spot.)