Twitter has become one of the leaders in social networking with people ranging from celebrities to big name companies using the short hand statements to promote, evoke and entertain. But lately, the site has caused some scandal in America and other countries. In January, after the big protest and the SOPA defeat, Twitter came out with a statement that said they would be ready to censor if required by law. The site plans on removing a tweet they find infringing, and it could be from any country that uses Twitter, and send the user a typical, government censorship warning that could be found anywhere on the Internet. Of course, Twitter won’t be doing anything until the government issues a request for wide spread censorship, but the threat is still there and the trust between the site and the users has been tried.
Yet there have been outcries to say that Twitter might be doing some good with this. The idea to censor might seem like a sell out move, but really it is a step in the direction of online transparency. Removing certain tweets from the site is a way for Twitter to maintain their accountability with the law, their transparency with the different customs of the world and the freedom of speech that they promote so well. They could remove a tweet from a specific country while still making it available to the rest of the world and with that, they keep up their credible and successful business.
In fact, Twitter and some other Internet giants have hit some troubled international waters. Indian government issued a statement in early February that called for a massive removal of viral information from Twitter, Facebook and Google. There had been some factors involved that make the censoring somewhat insidious. First off, some of it was because of offending religious customs of Hindus, Muslims and Christians, which isn’t such a good thing for freedom of speech especially since it’s a popular reason to protest among the people of India. Second, India is trying to promote a domestic nation. Somewhat along the lines of China’s Internet policies, India had an idea to evict sites that were foreign to the country regardless of how successful and helpful they are. The Indian government has a right to promote their own nation’s products and sites and they raise an intriguing observation: that America has been making almost all the money on the Internet. Interesting thought, but let’s save that for next week.
So the question still remains, what is Twitter going to do about this? There have been people in that country who have fought for the freedom of speech, will Twitter and the other sites do the same? I guess we’ll find out when that day comes.