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In a blog posted on their site on 26 January, Twitter explained that as they grow and expand into new countries they are faced with freedom of expression issues unique to each country.

While Twitter is incompatible with countries that outlaw any kind of speech freedom and therefore it cannot exist (at least at this time and in this form) one example listed was Germany where freedom of expression is encouraged but certain views are outlawed such as anything pro-nazi.

The only way that Twitter could previously comply to content restrictions was to remove content. However such removal had to be done globally, that is content removed in Germany would not be available anywhere in world.

Twitter announced that they have developed the capability to selectively remove content. So, while certain content may be removed in one country it would still be accessible everywhere else that such content is not restricted.

This highlights the complexity and evolving nature of commmunication in a world that gets smaller and closer together yet still has to deal with cultural eccentricities.

The cle goes on to say that they have not used this capability as yet and when there is occassion to use it they will be transparent as to what content was removed and wny. A link is provided to a page where such notices will be kept.

While an initial reaction to such a move may cause a sense of disquiet and “how free is this?”. The truth, as I see it, is that it is better for such platforms to gain footholds in as many countries as possible and where oppressive restrictions exist that can (and will be) eroded from the inside. It’s one thing keeping something out but entirely another kicking it out once established!

Also by not limiting content globally Twitter is open the doors wider.

The full article can be found here

Do you think this is a positive move by Twitter?

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