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Twitter , in its ofiicial Blog ,has atted that it will be blocking Blogs that are held offensive by a country.
Its contention is’ Freedom is non-specific’ and varies from one country to another!?
It explains as a sop, which it can not believe in, that it will make content available and its stand on www. chilling effects.org.
However ,in essence,this declaration of blocking content is not very different from the stand of Google and Facebook who state that they will block if the content is ordered to be removed by the ‘courts’ while Twitter says it will do so if required by ‘Law’.
The fine distinction is that Twitter can block contents quoting specific Law, while Google and Facebook will do so on specific orders from a court.
In India there are no specific Laws on this issue as in Germany where it is illegal to propagate ‘neo-Nazism‘
So Twitter can say that its Tweets are not published because there is no specific law, if they choose.
It is suspected that Twitter is eyeing the Chinese market where the Internet Censorship is strong where the Chinese block a site if they want to with no recourse to legal remedy.
At the same time,Twitter can say it is a model Corporation following law and at the same time post the informtion in Chiling effects for rest of the world and declare it is a defender of Freedo of Expression.
So you are an idealist crusading for freedom of Expression and at the same time make money by sacrificing the principle..
What a double speak?
““The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact … almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.”
As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. 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.
Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. 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.
We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld. As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page,http://chillingeffects.org/twitter, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter.
There’s more information in our Help pages, both on our Policy and about Your Account Settings.
One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t. The Tweets must continue to flow.
Update – Jan 27, 2:20pm.
Since yesterday’s post, we’ve gotten a number of questions that we’d like to broadly address with this update.
In short, we believe the new, more granular approach to withheld content is a good thing for freedom of expression, transparency, accountability— and for our users. Besides allowing us to keep Tweets available in more places, it also allows users to see whether we are living up to our freedom of expression ideal.
Q: Do you filter out certain Tweets before they appear on Twitter?
A: No. Our users now send a billion Tweets every four days—filtering is neither desirable nor realistic. With this new feature, we are going to be reactive only: that is, we will withhold specific content only when required to do so in response to what we believe to be a valid and applicable legal request.
As we do today, we will evaluate each request before taking any action. Any content we do withhold in response to such a request is clearly identified to users in that country as being withheld. And we are now able to make that content available to users in the rest of the world.
Q: What will people see if content is withheld?
A: If people are located in a country where a Tweet or account has been withheld and they try to view it, they will see a alert box that says “Tweet withheld” or “@Usernamewithheld” in place of the affected Tweet or account.
Q: Why did you take this approach, and why now?
A: There’s no magic to the timing of this feature. We’ve been working to reduce the scope of withholding, while increasing transparency, for a while. We have users all over the world and wanted to find a way to deal with requests in the least restrictive way.
What is Chilling effects about?
A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.
Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.
Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. But we’ve noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to “chill” legitimate activity.
The website offers background material and explanations of the law for people whose websites deal with topics such as Fan Fiction, Copyright, Domain Names and Trademarks, Anonymous Speech, and Defamation.
In addition, we want your help. We are gathering a searchable database of Cease and Desist notices sent to Internet users like you. We invite you toinput Cease and Desist letters that you’ve received into our database, to document the chill. We will respond by linking the legalese in the letters to FAQs that explain the allegations in plain English.
Periodically, we issue “weather reports” assessing the climate for Internet activity based on the letters we receive and news reports. What areas (topics, legal categories, jurisdictions) are coolest to online conduct? What activities risk being frozen out altogether? What conduct gets the warmest reception?
The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse contains multiple topic areas. Choose a topic area to view its introduction, Frequently Asked Questions, and annotated Cease & Desist notices, along with reference material and recent news links.
If you are visiting because you have received a Cease & Desist notice, we invite you to input your notice in the database. Questions on the submission form will help to categorize your letter, and then guide you toward topic areas for further information. Once the notice is in our database, clinical law students will be able to annotate it with questions and answers.