Twitter Begins Censoring Tweets

by kindsvater 19 replies
Breaking story here: News from The Associated Press

Important part of the story:

Twitter said it has no plans to remove tweets unless it receives a request from government officials, companies or another outside party that believes the message is illegal. No message will be removed until an internal review determines there is a legal problem,
What a massive headache for Twitter - acting as judge and jury to determine the legality of tweets across hundreds of countries. I don't believe they have thought this through. Especially after they get bombed with removal requests.

And what happens to Twitter if they receive a request and then make a mistake in evaluating it's legality?

2012 could end up being a year of major censorship / restrictions / take-downs, etc., on the net.

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#main internet marketing discussion forum #begins #censoring #tweets #twitter
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Isn't twitter a private entity? Wouldn't they have the right to remove any tweet they wanted anyways? I'm confused now.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Isn't twitter a private entity? Wouldn't they have the right to remove any tweet they wanted anyways? I'm confused now.
      You mean like AT&T can censor your calls, texts, etc.? Or Google can censor your gmail messages?

      Yes, Twitter is a private company. A company in the communications industry which has built-itself as a platform that purposefully refused government censorship requests, such as in the "Arab Spring" last year.

      Millions of people use Twitter. Before, if someone tweeted something you thought was wrong (eg, defamatory) you could sue them to try and prove your claim. Now, just fire off a take-down request to Twitter.

      Or, if you're Twitter and worried about SOPA, ACTA, etc., you just make it real easy for the government to take down whatever they want.

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        That's why you are the Lawyer and I'm not!

        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        You mean like AT&T can censor your calls, texts, etc.? Or Google can censor your gmail messages?

        Yes, Twitter is a private company. A company in the communications industry which has built-itself as a platform that purposefully refused government censorship requests, such as in the "Arab Spring" last year.

        Millions of people use Twitter. Before, if someone tweeted something you thought was wrong (eg, defamatory) you could sue them to try and prove your claim. Now, just fire off a take-down request to Twitter.

        Or, if you're Twitter and worried about SOPA, ACTA, etc., you just make it real easy for the government to take down whatever they want.

        .
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Russ,
          That's why you are the Lawyer and I'm not!
          Well, that and the whole "intellectual sadism" thing...


          Paul

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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
    I'm not sure I like the idea of Twitter taking it upon itself to judge the legality of the content that I post. I'm fairly certain that's what judges are for.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Gah. I saw this on an email list earlier today. What a nightmare.

      It's going to get messy. They basically just abandoned any pretense to the common carrier status that protects phone companies, if that covered them at all. And, unlike Gmail, there's no claim that the messages are transmitted with any expectation of privacy as regards the content.

      Only marginally related, but still. Complicates expectations.

      I'd hate to be the judge who had to handle the suits that are going to come of this stuff. Ugly, nasty, ethically complicated tangles of logic.


      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author cvcena
    I think twitter has all the right as a private entity business for that matter... But wanton censorship is a bad reflection for them and they could loose members... Maybe we should start building a public run (free speech and all) twitter like site...
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  • Profile picture of the author adammaxum
    A lot of backlash over this new policy. Companies have got to realize that they shouldn't mess with what's working. First netflix, now twitter.
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  • Profile picture of the author MobApps
    It was just a matter of time. Now the time is here. They will all do it eventually.
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudstrife
    There appears to be a wave of censorship coming on the internet. personally I like it how it is. As was previously said, I'd hate to be the judge on this one.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Yeah ... got that in one my email subscriptions to a "free uncensored Internet" lists that has already sent a petition out to sign. Pretty shocking. I thought Twitter prided itself on being on the forefront of breaking international news. People from other countries could get the real story out as they saw it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mvimes
    What with Google changing privacy policy, Twitter censoring tweets, Facebook suing a marketing company (maybe correctly).......There was bound to be tightening of the net but hopefully it wont go too far.
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  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    They should ban the idiots who make bad tweets instead.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    No, they should just let people unfollow or block people who make "bad tweets".

    Oh yeah, they already do that.

    So we will have someone "protecting" us from stuff we are fully capable of protecting our own little rear ends from. So Kewl.

    I have a feeling that twitter is making one huge mistake. I also have a feeling that in the background we've already been pwned by the gov censorship brigade. They just have to find a way to slip it through on the sly so they can get to the real stuff they want to trounce. Consider this "conditioning". There will be more to follow.
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  • Profile picture of the author richgrad
    With so many new regulations... one thing's for certain... The politicians are afraid of the incredible power of the internet =P
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  • Profile picture of the author perfectlovehere
    This is all getting ridiculous. They might as well shutdown youtube and every torrent site on the web while they are at it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Absolute Logo
    This is all news to me! Imagine what it will be like 10 years from now?!...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    You are all OVER-REACTING!!!

    They will only remove the most troublesome of posts. It's for your own good. Nay! It's for the good of all humanity. The internet has been uncensored for far too long, and this wave of censorship will only serve to make things BETTER for EVERYONE!

    Now, just shut up and do as you're told.

    Here's a bit of doggerel I just made up to help reassure you.

    Come! Come! My precious children
    And suckle at the government teat
    We know what's best for you
    When you read that little Tweet


    See? Don't you feel better already?

    Have a wonderful day!



    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Like Paul said, it's going to get ugly.

      Consider the case of the parent of a victim of a cyber-bully attack who commits suicide, who then sues Twitter for not censoring the digital assault. The suicide can unfollow their attackers, but that does nothing to stop the attacks.

      I'm sure there are enough gray areas to keep an army of lawyers busy for several years.
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