Twitter can now block messages from specific countries

Twitter's influence continues to increase worldwide. It has been used to help relay messages that have sparked revolutions in entire countries. It has also been used to relay more trivial messages like Alec Baldwin's removal from an airliner. A few months ago, Twitter announced its service is generating over 250 million Tweets a day.

However, the company is now trying to make its messaging service more agreeable to countries where certain messages might be considered offensive or even against the law.

In a post on Twitter's official blog site on Thursday, the company announced:

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.

Twitter added that so far it has not yet used this new feature but felt that it needed to have this new ability, saying:

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.

The company said it will attempt to let the user of a deleted message know when his or her Tweet will be blocked from a certain country. It added:

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.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Samsung records record profits thanks to smartphone sales

Next Story

TechSpot: Galaxy MDT GeForce GT 520 Budget Card Review

17 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Although I resent Twitter for their decision, I have to give them props for the transparency. At least we will know when what is blocked. It is also useful to note that it's not entirely Twitter's fault, as without this mechanism, Twitter risks being entirely blocked in certain countries.

Thats just smart. Hey who cares about the people in there, lets just go with what the country says so we wont lose numbers...

Varemenos said,
Thats just smart. Hey who cares about the people in there, lets just go with what the country says so we wont lose numbers...

You're right. It is smart. After all, they're only adhering to the laws of a country. Twitter, just like any other company, needs to do that otherwise they risk being banned.

FairyCake17 said,

You're right. It is smart. After all, they're only adhering to the laws of a country. Twitter, just like any other company, needs to do that otherwise they risk being banned.

Exactly, it's sad more people don't realize this. If we ever end up in ships exploring the galaxy are we going to try and push our morals and ethics on every race we meet? Respect other countries laws.

funkydude said,

Exactly, it's sad more people don't realize this. If we ever end up in ships exploring the galaxy are we going to try and push our morals and ethics on every race we meet? Respect other countries laws.


This.

funkydude said,

Exactly, it's sad more people don't realize this. If we ever end up in ships exploring the galaxy are we going to try and push our morals and ethics on every race we meet? Respect other countries laws.

OK, so exactly how is this different from SOPA? Yeah NO difference, a company makes the decision for it's USERS.

A government makes the decision for it's citizens.. WTF is the difference? ?!?!?!?!??!

It's OK for twitter to make changes to accomodate a country so they can continue working but it's NOT ok for a country like.. umm.. USA to make a decission to setup SOPA to do EXACTLY the same thing?

What you are people foolish imbeciles with zero common sense and hypocritic ***holes or what??

funkydude said,

Exactly, it's sad more people don't realize this. If we ever end up in ships exploring the galaxy are we going to try and push our morals and ethics on every race we meet? Respect other countries laws.

OK, so exactly how is this different from SOPA? Yeah NO difference, a company makes the decision for it's USERS.

A government makes the decision for it's citizens.. WTF is the difference? ?!?!?!?!??!

It's OK for twitter to make changes to accomodate a country so they can continue working but it's NOT ok for a country like.. umm.. USA to make a decission to setup SOPA to do EXACTLY the same thing?

What you are people foolish imbeciles with zero common sense and hypocritic ***holes or what??

Saex_Conroy said,
nice discrimination
ive never used twitter and i still dont understand its purpose

You don't understand text communication among friends or people sharing an interest?

Saex_Conroy said,
ive never used twitter and i still dont understand its purpose

While I can understand its purpose, I have no use for it. I send text messages to friends, and I read the news on websites instead of via a 140-character-limited service.

Kirkburn said,

You realise of course that Twitter isn't far off this, unless all your texts are massively long.

Yes, I know that. My point is that my mobile can send text messages using someone's phone number. Why would I get a twitter account and then get all of my friends to start using it as well on their phones when we already all have the technology needed to send short messages to one another in the first place?

Northgrove said,

You don't understand text communication among friends or people sharing an interest?

I have no friends, could care less about sharing, and don't give a ***T WTF *YOU* are doing, so no, I don't have any interest, ZERO.

Northgrove said,

You don't understand text communication among friends or people sharing an interest?

I have no friends, could care less about sharing, and don't give a ***T WTF *YOU* are doing, so no, I don't have any interest, ZERO.

Intrinsica said,

While I can understand its purpose, I have no use for it. I send text messages to friends, and I read the news on websites instead of via a 140-character-limited service.

Well it's not limited to 140 character, you are confusing this with text messages.. but those aren't limited either.. it depends on the app and your carrier, but twitter posts to a central place.. just like a forum.

Northgrove said,

You don't understand text communication among friends or people sharing an interest?

i use facebook, i dont need an iteration of it

rijp said,
Well it's not limited to 140 character
I thought I might be wrong on that idea, but having done a check it appears to still be a 140 character limit (text messages are 160). Not that it matters.