Twitter’s New Censorship Tool Singles Out Tweets by Country

Twitter’s New Censorship Tool Singles Out Tweets by Country

Twitter’s New Censorship Tool Singles Out Tweets by Country

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Jan. 27 2012 3:09 PM

Twitter’s New Censorship Tool Singles Out Tweets by Country

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(Twitter logo is displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on March 11, 2011 in California.)

Photo by KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images

2011 was the year Twitter got credit for helping bring the fight for freedom to the streets of the Arab world and beyond. Will 2012 be the year the little birdie becomes a symbol for censorship?

Twitter announced this week it had added the new ability for the company to censor certain types of tweets on a by-country basis. For instance, Germany and France ban pro-Nazi propaganda, and now instead of banning something worldwide, the company can curtail censorship to the needs of particular countries. Is that a good thing?

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It’s good for the 100-million user company because it aids its expansion. In a blog post, company reps said it will also attempt to let users know if a tweet or a topic is censored. Of course, whether that helps the social media giant fight the expansion of freedom or fight for it, remains to be seen. 

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.