Twitter explains censorship policy

Jan. 31, 2012 at 7:02 PM
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LAGUNA NIGEL, Calif., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Twitter is denying its policy changes on censoring tweets amounts to managing shared content, saying it's to meet free speech concerns around the world.

Speaking at a conference in California, Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo characterized the changed policy as ensuring more people see tweets, not fewer, SlashGear reported Tuesday.

Twitter recently announced the ability to censor selected tweets within a country, as opposed to simply cutting off the service entirely.

"There's been no change in our stance or attitude or policy with respect to content on Twitter," Costolo said. "It is simply not the case you can operate in these countries and choose which of the laws we want [to adhere to]."

Instead of an either-or situation where Twitter is either allowed to operate in a country or not, Costolo said, the ability to mask or censor certain messages will mean only a small percentage of users will lose access.

"When we receive [a takedown notice]," he explained, "we want to leave the content up for as many people as possible while adhering to the local law."

Twitter's police change is not like to gain it entry into China where Twitter's involvement in protests has drawn the government's ire, SlashGear reported.

"I don't think the current environment in China is one in which we could operate," Costolo said.

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