Twitter Gets More Power to Control Censorship

San Francisco startup will now be able to block tweets in specific countries, instead of globally.

By Sajid Farooq
|  Friday, Jan 27, 2012  |  Updated 10:18 AM PDT
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Twitter Gets More Power to Control Censorship

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Twitter can now control where tweets are blocked.

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In giving itself some more power, Twitter is certain to highlight an ability that will bother some.

The San Francisco-based startup announced Thursday on its company blog that it will now be able to censor tweets in specific countries that require specific words or topics to be blocked.

Now Twitter will be able to block a tweet and isolate that censorship to only the country that requires it. The rest of the world would still be able to see the tweet.

The move is actually a step up for Twitter, who previously had to block the tweet globally to be able to exist in some countries.

"As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," the company said in a blog post. "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."

Twitter says it has not used the censorship tool yet but it has expanded a partnership with Chillingeffects.org to track any complaints or alleged abuses.
 

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