Twitter CEO: Tweet censoring is a good thing

Jan 31, 2012
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Twitter CEO: Tweet censoring is a good thing

Twitter has renewed its denials that recent policy changes allowing the social network to censor tweets are a sign that the company is proactively looking to manage shared content, arguing that it was merely a more transparent way of handling different free speech rules around the world. Speaking at Dive Into Media, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo portrayed the changes as a way of in fact making sure more people see tweets, AllThingsD reports, not fewer.

"There’s been no change in our stance or attitude or policy with respect to content on Twitter" Costolo said. However, he also insisted that Twitter's hand had been forced by legal requirements, with the tacit suggestion that the short-messaging network shouldn't be the target of complaints but rather policy makers in governments instead. "It is simply not the case you can operate in these countries and choose which of the laws we want [to adhere to]" he pointed out.

Instead, rather than a black or white situation where Twitter is either allowed to operate in a country or not, Costolo hopes the flexibility of masking certain messages will mean only a small percentage 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."

Nonetheless, despite the tweaks, Costolo holds little hope for Twitter launching in China, where the social network's involvement in numerous protests has left it a source of grave concern for the censorship-prone government there. "I don’t think the current environment in China is one in which we could operate" he said.


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