What's all the uproar about Twitter's 'new' censorship policy? Perhaps it's time for the Twit-i-sphere to take a collective breath and actually take the time to consider the facts, think things over, then react if necessary. The hyperbolic desire to RT an immediate need for protest is doing a disservice to the 'net as a whole. If folks would bother to read and discuss as opposed to rabidly re-tweeting another boycott proposal, they might learn a few things about the Network upon which they Socialize. Here's an excerpt from Twitter's announcement:
"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."
The internet and it's tools provide wonderful oportunities for self-governance. Unfortunately, the desire for immediate gratification quicky spirals to blind ignorance and can create a snowball of misleading or misguided information that is difficult to slow down.
UPDATE: Thank you Boing Boing. (excerpt:) "We keep talking of activism as content: it's as privileged a viewpoint as you'll ever get from the silicon tower of tech journalism, where the act of disclosure is more virtuous than having nothing to disclose, and where the West's ethical feather-plucking is more real than the reality of politics in dangerous places. Silicon Valley seems finally to be learning the lesson that if you sell yourself on virtue, the business will make you eat your words. Twitter's U-turn on censorship teaches it another one: if you take credit for what activists do with your tools, you'll end up eating their words, too."