In a blog post, social media service Twitter announced changes to its censorship practices that will allow it to censor certain tweets and users on country-by-country basis:
As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression…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.
Twitter claims that it will do so in a transparent fashion. If a tweet or user is being censored on one's timeline, a "Tweet withheld" message will appear in its place that says, "This tweet from @Username has been withheld in: Country." or "This account has been withheld in: Country." with a link to "Learn more." It is also partnering up free speech organization Chilling Effects to log tweets and users being blocked. However, Internet activists are not satisfied, especially considering the role Twitter played in mobilizing the Arab Spring and other pro-democracy movements. They are organizing a boycott of Twitter for Saturday, January 28, using the hashtag (a tool on social media to disseminate trends) #TwitterBlackout. This protest comes less than two weeks after many websites across the internet blacked out their content in objection to anti-piracy legislation SOPA and PROTECT-IP.
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Previously: Is Newt Gingrich Right About Going to the Moon?