Twitter Caves, Will Restrict Tweets in Certain Countries

Move represents major policy switch
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 1:11 AM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2012 7:44 AM CST
Twitter Caves to Nations to Restrict Content
A screen shot of a Twitter blog post announcing company's new censorship policy.   (AP Photo/Twitter)

Twitter has apparently decided corporate relations are more important than content. Company officials have announced that they will voluntarily restrict Twitter content in specific countries to comply with government limits on what citizens are allowed to read. "As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," Twitter wrote in a blog post yesterday. "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."

It's a major policy shift for the social media platform that played a key role in uprisings in the Mideast, notes Reuters. The Twitter blog only specifically mentioned French and German rules outlawing Nazi communication, and noted that Twitter hasn't yet begun restricting content. The blog added that some countries' restrictions are so severe that "we will not be able to exist there." A Twitter spokeswoman refused to elaborate on the comments, or further discuss the policy change. (More Twitter stories.)

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