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.

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