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Posts Tagged ‘twitter censorship’

Twitter Selling Ads, Eyeing Growth (And Battling Censorship) in #Russia

Twitter Selling Ads, Eyeing Growth (And Battling Censorship) in Russia

Twitter has started selling advertising in Russia as it looks to build in a market where it’s already on par with rival Facebook.

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UAE Twitter Users Told They Must Tweet Respectfully About Islam, Government In Regulator Infographic

UAE Twitter Users Told They Must Tweet Respectfully About Islam, Government In Regulator Infographic

Twitter users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been warned about what they can and cannot tweet on the social network by one of the country’s official bodies.

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Student Suspended For Creating Hashtag About School Budget

Kids are rotten online, this has been sufficiently established, we think. Teens in particular can be bullying, threatening and just all around vile some days – and we cheer online when they get in trouble for it, don’t we?

Well, we should get just as chatty about the flipside: A teen facing a foolish punishment for creating a hashtag on Twitter that wasn’t bullying, threatening or in any way vile, but it ticked school administrators off – and they apparently can take whatever action they want, without consequence.

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Russia Pleased With Twitter Censorship? Be Afraid

Governments know they can’t get user data out of Twitter without a warrant, but they CAN do something that’s almost as bad: censor people with Twitter’s blessing.

Granted, Twitter has (fast and loose) rules around this as well, but you have to wonder WHAT is going on when the Kremlin, a place that isn’t known for embracing freedom of expression, is praising Twitter for blocking tweets.

If they’re happy with the response they’re getting, you shouldn’t be.

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Twitter’s First Act Of Censorship Silences Neo-Nazi Profile In Germany

Back in January Twitter unveiled a revision to their stance on censorship – namely, that while they agreed that the tweets must continue to flow, Twitter’s increasing position on the international stage meant that, inevitably, they would have to work with governments and enforcement agencies on a per-country basis in order to better serve their respective values and norms with regard to freedom of expression.

To do this, Twitter implemented functionality which allowed them to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country. Yesterday, they actioned this policy for the first time, blocking a neo-Nazi account at the request of the German authorities.

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Where They Burn Tweets, They Will Ultimately Burn People

In January 2011, Twitter wrote a fairly inspiring blog post entitled The Tweets Must Flow.

In the entry, crafted by Twitter co-founder (and then creative director) Biz Stone and general counsel Alex Macgillivray, wrote about the importance of preserving “the open exchange of information”, and that “almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right”.

Now, in a new update to this policy, Twitter appears to have done a one-eighty on its stance towards freedom of expression, as the platform now has the facility to withhold tweets from users in an entire, specified country – while keeping that content available to the rest of the world.

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Coming Soon To Twitter: Self-Censorship And Parental Controls For NSFW Tweets

Twitter might soon start to flag tweets that contain links to material deemed inappropriate or not safe for work.

There’s a new field within Twitter’s API that is titled “possibly_sensitive” that will only surface when any URL contained in a tweet links to content that has been defined as ‘sensitive’.

So here’s the big question: who gets to make that definition?

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Should You Censor Yourself On Twitter?

Sure. Sometimes. Why and when depends entirely on who you are, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Here’s the thing – in public we all censor ourselves to some degree. Twitter, as a public platform, shouldn’t be any different. While it’s important to be yourself (or, ideally, the best version of you), common sense tells us to be respectful, or at least mindful, of others. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express opinions you feel strongly about, but it does mean you should try to be polite.

(Up to a point. Remember: you can’t please everybody, and you’re on to a hiding to nothing simply by trying.)

I’m not saying you have to somebody you’re not. The opposite, actually. Just don’t be too loose, and don’t be one of those people.

(You know… morons.)

This is good advice for most personal accounts. For brands on Twitter, it’s a little different. Whether run in-house or managed by somebody else, they have to censor themselves. Otherwise bad things can easily happen, either through sloppiness or letting personal feelings cloud your judgement and emotional reaction. When everything you’re doing is based on reputation and trust, you simply cannot afford to be gung ho with your community.

There’s a big difference between censoring yourself on the internet, and internet censorship as a whole. Bottom line: if your network expects you to be outspoken and controversial, then being something different wouldn’t be true to anybody, especially yourself. But there are usually obvious limits, and for most of us it pays to work out what these are as early as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, and those limits are there to be flirted with. Absolutely get out there and spread your ideas and content. But go too far over that line and you might not be invited to come back.