Twitter Withholds Tweets; Fans Protest Saturday, Jan. 28, as TwitterBlackout Day

Twitter is embroiled in controversy over a company press release that states, ‘Tweets can now be monitored and withheld, depending on the circumstances’.

This is what Twitter officials posted:

“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. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”

Forbes’ tech reporter Mark Gibbs wrote that this form of censorship will kill Twitter, or better yet, that Twitter has killed itself:
“In what can only have been a fit of corporate insanity, Twitter announced that it has the ability to filter tweets to conform to the demands of various countries,” he wrote.The disdain for any form of Twitter censorship has gone viral, ironically, with #TwitterBlackout now a trending Twitter topic. Fans proclaimed Saturday, January 28 as the official Twitter Blackout day of protest.

Twitter officials have clarified the company’s original position, meaning that they can withhold a Tweet in one country, but display it for the rest of the world:

“What’s new today is that we now have the ability to withhold a Tweet in a specific country when we have to, and keep that Tweet visible for the rest of the world. We hold freedom of expression in high esteem and work hard not to remove Tweets.”

Did you Tweet today?

Zondra Hughes

Deputy Editor, Rolling Out

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