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Twitter Can Now Block Tweets In Specific Countries

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the 142-countries-or-less dept.

Censorship 151

itwbennett writes "In a blog post on Thursday, Twitter announced that it can now block individual Tweets in specific countries, while leaving them visible in other countries. 'We try to keep content up whenever and wherever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't,' the blog said. Twitter will publish requests it receives to block content through its partnership with Chilling Effects."

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151 comments

Lovely (2)

the Dragonweaver (460267) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836151)

A brilliant means of censorship. Gotta love Big Brother.

Re:Lovely (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836263)

Although I'm way back in the closet, I like hairy, masculine men.

And my brother-in-law is fits my type to a "T": tall, early 30's, good looking, olive complexion, clean-shaven but with a dark heavy beard, black short hair with a slightly receding hairline, sexy brown twinkling eyes, an infectious laugh and a furry chest and ass that makes my dick woody just thinking about him! As a bonus, he's a cop in uniform. And I love a man in a uniform.

He's also a man's man, a cop's cop and a bear's bear. His chest has thick, dark furry hair on that goes over his shoulders and down his back. Ever since I met him, I've fantasized about running my tongue down his back and licking his ass. Then rolling him over and running my hands through the rug on his chest, sucking his dick and then fucking the daylights out of him.

But he and I are both married and he's a real conservative, southerner type. I always assumed he was straight as an arrow, too, and that my fantasies were one-sided. Then one day he asked me help him fix a problem with his home PC and I got curious.

I know all red-blooded men surf porn. I knew that he and his wife (a lab tech in the forensics lab) worked staggered shifts, so what did this guy surf while the "cat was away"? Perhaps maybe his still waters ran deeper? When he went out of the room to get ready for his duty shift and I took the opportunity to check his browser history files -- deleted. No recent documents. No cookies. No temp files. No history in his Windows Media Player. Nothing. Suspiciously nothing, in fact. Now I was determined. Such a complete lack of evidence only meant he was hiding a juicy secret or two.

I could hear him in the room down the hall rustling around getting in his uniform on. I only had a couple of minutes.

I undeleted some files from his hard drive using a utility program. Mostly boring stuff at first. News: shopping, humor, cop sites, military history sites... Then, paydirt: Porn galore! softcore redheads, older babes, big tits, Indian babes.... The voyeurism made my heart pound faster. Damn, it looked like he was straight after all.

There we still a few more files to check but unfortunately time was running out. I could hear him putting his gun on and checking the magazine clip for bullets. I undeleted a few more files and found some kinkier stuff. Cumshots. Double penetration. Bestiality. Cartoon Sex. She-males. Mother/son incest stories. I had to keep going. Then, there it was -- gay erotica: double paydirt! Pix of Big Dicks. Twinks. Men fucking men. Men cocksucking. Gay male stories. He even wrote a couple of them himself! My heart started to pound hard and blood ran to my cheeks -- and to my dick.

I could hear him coming down the hall. I started quickly closing windows on his PC but it was too late. He caught me in the act and, holy shit, was he mad.

"What the fuck do you think you're doin'?!"

"I-I-I ...," I sputtered lamely.

He spun me around and then caught sight of the bulge in my pants.

"You're under arrest," he said, grabbed my arm and threw me down on the ground. Even though I was slightly bigger than him, I was so shocked at being caught red handed that I didn't put up a fight.

He took some handcuffs off his belt, pulled my hands behind my back, sat on my and cuffed me face down. (In a weird way, I sort of enjoyed it.)

"Now we have to figure out a punishment," He said.

I was puzzled. A punishment?

"OK, douchebag," he continued. "Here's what we're gonna do."

He rolled me over on my back and sat on my legs. He reached down and unbuckled my belt, unbuttoned my pants, and unzipped me. He pulled my pants down around my ankles. My cock was still hard bulging through my briefs. He put his hands on my balls and began to gently squeeze. Not too hard but enough pain to be exquisite. My dick pulsed. A small spot of pre-cum spread as it seeping through my underwear.

"Just checking," he said. "So, you really are a gay prick," he added.

He rolled me onto my stomach and pulled down my underwear.

"Right then. On your knees and bend over, dickhole," he ordered.

The cuffs were hurting a bit and I obeyed.

He ran his masculine hands up the inside of my legs and until he felt my balls and rock hard cock. I then heard him form a wad of lubricating spit in his mouth and drip it onto my waiting ass. He rubbed the spit around my ass and unclipped the baton from his belt.

He mercilessly shoved it up my ass. I groaned.

"Hey! You're not supposed be enjoying this, you faggoty cocksucker," he exclaimed. "Maybe you need something that'll really stretch you."

I heard him unzip. More lubricating spit -- this time he dripped it on his rock hard dick. He put his hands on my hips and I felt the head of his cock against my ass. I looked back. His crotch was very hairy and the head of his cock was huge -- round like a beer can. I tightened my hole as I braced for him to enter.

"Suit yourself," he grinned. "That's just the way I like it. Snug."

He thrust hard and I felt him inside my poop shaft. His hard rod was wide and meaty. My hole stretched with pain. He began slowly -- in and out -- in and out. Then faster. And faster still. I felt his balls slapping against by legs. He reached around with one hand and gently squeezed my balls while grabbing my cock with his other hand. He began to hand pump my dick as he continued thrusting into me.

I started to cum. My load spurted all up my chest. As I came, my ass began to pulsate around his dick. He let out a groan and filled my chute with his hot juice.

He uncuffed me and we got dressed.

Now that we knew each other's little secret, I couldn't wait to read his next erotic story...

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837465)

I read it all ;/

Re:Lovely (5, Interesting)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836379)

This isn't for Egypt, Saudi Arabia or third world countries. They just outright block Twitter, Facebook, whatever and everybody knows it.

This is for North America, Europe and Asia [China/Japan], so their governments/industry partners can silently kill specific things without people readily knowing about it. So you still have the appearance of free speech, without actually having it.

Re:Lovely (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836445)

This isn't for Egypt, Saudi Arabia or third world countries.

Duh. Those are full of spear-chuckin niggers, dune coons, and other undesirables.

I really like the name spear-chucker. It works. It fits. The white man invented sailing ships and sailed the globe and found the black man. Not the fucking other way around. For a reason. That is why blacks are inferior. This is not a few people vs a few people. This is much bigger than a statistically significant sample size. This is a whole people, tens upon tens of millions, over thousands of years .. vs a whole people, tens upon tens of millions, even more thousands of years. If all early human ancestors were from Africa than the fucking niggers had even more time than the white man. But they are the primitives. What does that tell you?

They fail at life. They are spear chuckers. They are tribal and savage and always will be except the white man found them. They sold each other into slavery too so don't even start with that shit. Oh and all white people have ancestors who were once slaves so again don't bother with that bullshit, it only works on the government educated masses not on me.

Re:Lovely (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836627)

Guns, Germs and Steel gave a convincing account of this disparity. In brief, Africa has neither the domesticated grains nor the farmland nor the domesticable animals that Europe enjoyed. Given the minute genetic differences between the two cultures, the only sensible conclusion is that Europe was more advantageous for humans to settle in, as I'm sure you would agree even today. Africa is a piece of shit, Africans just have to live there.

But you only look for confirming evidence for your bigotry. I hope you get assraped by a thick black cock.

Re:Lovely (2, Informative)

Endovior (2450520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836635)

This isn't for Egypt, Saudi Arabia or third world countries.

Duh. Those are full of spear-chuckin niggers, dune coons, and other undesirables. I really like the name spear-chucker. It works. It fits. The white man invented sailing ships and sailed the globe and found the black man. Not the fucking other way around. For a reason. That is why blacks are inferior. This is not a few people vs a few people. This is much bigger than a statistically significant sample size. This is a whole people, tens upon tens of millions, over thousands of years .. vs a whole people, tens upon tens of millions, even more thousands of years. If all early human ancestors were from Africa than the fucking niggers had even more time than the white man. But they are the primitives. What does that tell you? They fail at life. They are spear chuckers. They are tribal and savage and always will be except the white man found them. They sold each other into slavery too so don't even start with that shit. Oh and all white people have ancestors who were once slaves so again don't bother with that bullshit, it only works on the government educated masses not on me.

Wow. Racist of the year award goes to this man. Why did Europe 'discover' Africa, and not vice-versa? Guns, Germs, and Steel: look it up. The macrohistorical advancement of a 'race' has more to do with geography, climate, and natural resources than anything else, and if you don't believe that, it's because you're an idiot.

Re:Lovely (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836673)

that's right.. preach that communist crapola..

Re:Lovely (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836873)

Racist of the year award goes to this man. Why did Europe 'discover' Africa, and not vice-versa?

It was the 'discovered Africa' thing that tipped you off that he/she was racist? Not the word nigger, dune coons, or undesirables? I'm just trying to help you here when I say, you might want to work on understanding the underlying meaning behind sentences, because you missed some big ones there.

I'd even go so far as to say he was being racist on purpose.

Re:Lovely (1)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836701)

The fact that you would spew all this on a liberal leaning tech blog means you're either oblivious of the internet or you are what my generation would dub as a "troll". Enjoy your -1.

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837397)

He's posted this is the wrong tab open in his browser. He meant to post it in the one with /b/ in the tab title!

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837511)

This website isn't a "blog".

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837349)

You're welcome to your hate-filled, ignorant vitriolic rant, but I'll bet you can't play the guitar as well as this black man [youtube.com]!

Re:Lovely (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836853)

so their governments/industry partners can silently kill specific things without people readily knowing about it.

If they actually do post it on chilling-effects, it won't be very silent.

Besides, what are they going to do, block the tweets for the latest hate-gazm from the Newt and Romster? They aren't going to be able to stop OWS from organizing just from blocking twitter.

Re:Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837359)

This will all come down to content and copyright issues. For instance, I'm currently enjoying US Netflix content while living in the UK thanks to a tip off on Twitter. That's exactly the kind of thing the companies with time and money to waste policing this will be looking for.

American newspapers censor this way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837497)

I'm a developer for a major newspaper firm.

Let me tell you... for *years*, we've been deleting people's posts but to them it still seems like they're posted. The system is adept enough to also show thier comments to anyone friended to them, and it also shows up via a direct URL link. But in the main page, no one sees crap.

This is the way it is on the 30+ newspapers I help develop the core platform of. Right here in the United States.

Re:American newspapers censor this way! (1)

UHBo2 (665759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837889)

And this is just one reason why traditional newspapers, and their online versions are dying.

Re:Lovely (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837743)

This is for North America, Europe and Asia [China/Japan], so their governments/industry partners can silently kill specific things without people readily knowing about it. So you still have the appearance of free speech, without actually having it.

This would be trivially easy to test. Hell, it'd be trivially easy to *block*:

1) Set up a bunch of VPNs/proxies in every country.

2) Suspect a link has been "disappeared"? Copy/paste it into this magic website.

3) Website reads and returns the text of the tweets from each country with an error message for those who blocked it.

It's be a pretty great barometer for how much of a shithole your country is when it comes to freedom of speech.

Re:Lovely (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837487)

Not at all!

Twitter can block tweets in some countries but the country could block twitter anyway. Superficially it appears that twitter is cooperating, but what do we know about censorship on the internet? [wikiquote.org]

This will only silence an actual tweet, if nobody in the world is sufficiently incensed by the censorship. As soon as a tweet is blocked, it will be retweeted like crazy, as well as mirrored on countless websites. It effectively neuters censorship.

twitter sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836153)

is anyone surprised? it's less socially relevant than fox news.

Re:twitter sucks (4, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836273)

if you think fox news is bad, try cnn. Last time I watched, I thought twitter had bought their own network to do nothing but read tweets.

Re:twitter sucks (0)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836403)

No kidding. I was watching CNN a few days ago, just catching up before I went to work and they were mentioning rain in the northwest. They started reading tweets about the weather and the one I remember was "rain rain, go away".

How insightful.

Re:twitter sucks (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836643)

On FiOS TV where I live, you'll often see a "Check out CNN on Twitter" prompt while watching the channel. Push the relevant magic button and you're staring at their channel.

I won't be surprised if we hear about another TimeWarner-Internet Giant merger soon. CNN really does seem to at least mention or show staff @UserNames whenever there's screen space. It starts to annoy me when I see @brookebcnn float in that little box every few seconds like it was some sort of bikini girl on a raft in a pool.

Oh noes (0, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836155)

Some guy in *insert dictatorship here* wont get the latest update from my fart detecting chair!

About Respecting Sovereignty (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836181)

This has nothing to do with censorship. It's about a company respecting other countries laws and their sovereignty. A lot of other countries do not hold the same western values of free speech as the rest of us. Why can't some people respect that?

Their countries, their laws. If companies want to do business there or not be blocked, they should respect them. I applaud Twitter on taking this step.

Streisand Effect, anyone? (5, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836217)

I wouldn't necessarily applaud them for this - operating under the laws of a specific country may well be a case of having their hands tied.

However this is the right way to go about applying government censorship, if there is such a thing. Let those in the censoring country see a "your government has banned this tweet" message, and letting everyone else see "The X government has banned this Tweet, but here it is because you're not in X" will shed light on what was being censored, will shed light on the censorship itself, and both the attention and the trivial nature of defeating censorship will let those in the relevant country see it anyway.

That is something that arguably can be applauded.

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836357)

I would be much more impressed if twitter said "we're leaving" to India instead of saying "ok, we'll censor our users tweets."

Very cowardly move on twitter's part.

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836545)

So your solution would be, instead of Indians having a partially-censored network, you want Twitter to voluntarily fully censor the network for them. Whose side are you on again?

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837159)

False dilemma. Twitter should provide a service to its user. If governments want it censored, let THEM do it, not twitter. Twitter isn't required to operate inside India to provide their service to the Indian people. I'm pretty sure twitter doesn't operate in the country I'm in, yet I can use their service.

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837489)

Ok, so Twitter refuses the opportunity to self-censor, and the Indian government gets its ISPs to block Twitter due to lack of censorship. Oh look, we're back where we started. No, Twitter doesn't operate on infrastructure in every country, but it needs the co-operation of that infrastructure. And governments all around the world have started being a bit heavy-handed when it comes to the whole "neutral infrastructure" issue.

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837377)

A better solution (and I don't know, maybe this is what they're going to do) would be to not silently kill the tweets but to indicate that there is a censored tweet. They'd be complying with the letter of the law but still letting people know this was going on (and people would find other ways to track down and publicise the censored content).

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837501)

Yes, that's pretty much what they are planning to do:

Twitter has defended its role in helping protesters in the Middle East and other regions organize themselves and spread unauthorized messages within and beyond their countries. But it now has the ability to comply with local standards by blocking tweets from users just in the country in which they are banned. Those messages would be visible to Twitter users elsewhere in the world.

If Twitter does remove a tweet, users in the country in which it was removed will see a grayed-out tweet in their timeline that says a message from an identified user has been withheld.

Through an expanded partnership with Chilling Effects, a project that tracks constraints on online content, the company also will publish requests to withhold content.

Censorship by the government is never a good idea, but this is one of the better ways of responding to it.

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (2)

http (589131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836891)

Your government has censored this post.

Still applauding?

Re:Streisand Effect, anyone? (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837401)

In the past, there would be simply silence. A government order would be delivered to a Twitter (or a Facebook or a forum) and the material would disappear, everywhere. Often the material was child pornography - most links removed by Twitter last year were child porn links.

Now, there is a trace left for every act of censorship. When a government demands something be removed (and this will only matter for those countries in which Twitter is doing business and has offices - e.g., not Iran, but France, Germany, etc) the rest of us will find out, as will the twitterer. This is the minimum amount of accommodation that Twitter can make to a censoring government while still doing business in that country at all, and is less accommodation than they used to do, or anyone else (including Slashdot) does.

So, yes, I am applauding Twitter for letting me know that they were ordered by the government to censor me, for reporting the act of censorship to Chilling Effects, and for routing around that censorship where that government has no authority.

natural right (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836315)

A lot of other countries do not hold the same western values of free speech as the rest of us. Why can't some people respect that?

Because free speech is a natural right that all human beings are born with. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with "western values" (whatever the hell those are). The fact is that all human beings have the ability to engage in free speech; Governments or individuals may punish you for exercising that ability but the ability is still there. It's the same with the 2nd Amendment really -- you can regulate weapons all you want but people can still obtain and use them. Doubt this? Ask the guy who just got shanked in prison if the person who stabbed him didn't keep and bear arms.

BTW, you need not limit yourself to the US Constitution. From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Re:natural right (2)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836481)

Because free speech is a natural right that all human beings are born with. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with "western values" (whatever the hell those are). The fact is that all human beings have the ability to engage in free speech

I like what you say and in fact, I know the truth of it myself. But what you're doing there isn't going to work on that sort of person. What you're doing is speaking to them like they are reasonable adults. Maybe you believe they will rise to the occasion given the opportunity. What they believe is not reasonable. That's why it can't work, no matter how true and reasonable it is. The only way to change anything is to recognize you are dealing with a phony system and invalidate it.

The fact is, the recognition and respect of natural rights like free speech plays out in a certain predictable way. It ends up being better for everyone and the only things it "costs you" are things you're better off without, such as unnecessary coercion. This is a fact that is true because you are human and have a pulse. The problem is, the people who sympathize with tyranny and hide its vices behind a veil of relativism think that's only my opinion.

They couldn't imagine this set of initial conditions always producing the same result each time it's faithfully tried. They think that's my "Western values of individualism" even though real individuality is hard to find in most "Western" nations these days. The fact that all people are better off when treated with a certain respect that honors their rights and their dignity is more than an opinion.

The one thing I never understood is this lack of awareness of interconnectedness. That's why I never could fully grasp how a man could want to create and live in a total totalitarian state with all the misery it creates so long as he is in charge of it. Living in such a state is bad enough, let alone the personal responsibility for helping to create it. You'd truly have to believe that each man is a perfectly isolated island for any such desire to make a shred of sense.

Re:natural right (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836887)

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Uh, how does that even make sense? I want to exercise my right to get on TV before the Republican debate. I will moon everyone. According to that declaration, I ought to be able to send that message out through the media I want, which is TV. Is this what they were thinking? Or were they just trying to get a jab in at USSR?

Re:natural right (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837533)

You have the right, but that doesn't mean that anyone is obligated to provide you with the means to exercise the right (though arguably simply pulling your trousers down in public is not expression, it's merely childish lewdness and so not deserving of such lofty protection - but that's a different matter). They're just not entitled to prevent you (where "They" in this case means "the government" or similar entity). If you can't convince an existing broadcaster to give you your 15 minutes of fame, you are free to find a wealthy-enough sponsor (or self-fund) to buy the necessary equipment and permits to run your own station, or to buy an advertising slot, etc.

Re:natural right (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837037)

Actually, I would say the 'inalienable human rights' are de facto Western products because they rely on dependencies such as individualism and universialism stemming from German Idealism (and earlier) as well as principles of Western civilization like Habeas corpus.

In fact, I would argue that only such a historical contingency (hard birth) makes these values worth fighting for, so as to decouple them from historical struggle and aim towards global law.

You can have parallell rights in other world views. Chinese culture has a stronger sense of community that I speculate is due to a we-before-I thinking, bereft of the universal individualism of the west. These rights could even be similar in effect, bur would mean entirely different things.

Re:natural right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837367)

The only rights you have are the ones you are willing to exercise and defend.

Re:natural right (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837393)

It's the same with the 2nd Amendment really -- you can regulate weapons all you want but people can still obtain and use them. Doubt this? Ask the guy who just got shanked in prison if the person who stabbed him didn't keep and bear arms.

That's the worst argument I've ever heard. We also regulate murder, go ask the family of someone who just got murdered how effective the law against murder is. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still try to lay down a framework of law to prevent it happening.

Also I think you're a troll (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837049)

What you're arguing for is 'cultural relativism'.
Your post just seems too well crafted, and feels trollish to me, but in case this is actually that you think, 'cultural relativism' lost.

All international human rights instruments adhere to the principle that human rights are universally applicable.

Countries who violate peoples freedom though censorship are universally in the wrong.

Re:Also I think you're a troll (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837421)

"Cultural relativism" is simply a fact, in that cultures produce morality. You can deny that all you like, but it's obvious from history and anthropology.

Of course, the idea that you have to tolerate another culture's morality is also grounded only in one's own culture, and is clearly not shared by many cultures.

Yes, at the bottom is nihilism of a sort. How you deal with that is your problem, ultimately. Hold onto your values as loosely or as tightly as you like, but don't look for the universe itself to confirm them: it doesn't care about what you think is "universally" applicable.

And I suspect, too, that you will find some mode of speech to exempt from absolute commitment to non-censorship. Say, making threats. Revealing personal information (e.g., your SSN,)

Re:About Respecting Sovereignty (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837323)

Actually, it's about them reluctantly following the rules of those countries, yet still letting the rest of the world route around those rules, and being completely transparent when censorship does occur (with their partnership with Chilling Effects.) Twitter is kind of being a warrior for free speech in its way here.

tongue in cheek (1)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836191)

Head of Google India just tried to convince [firstpost.com] the adamant govt that it is impossible to censor content in India as the content/Internet has no borders.
Good luck to Google and others for convincing the Kapil Sibal this time.

Re:tongue in cheek (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836309)

Don't be a dick vencs, (short for "Venkat"? lame)

Google's statement was about not doing it in real-time and against filtering before publishing - think about it. Twitter has also NOT said it will be filtering in real-time. There will obviously be some time period between when a tweet is published, deemed "offensive", and then censored in a particular country.

Twitter has NOT agreed to do something that Google previously didn't agree to.

Why would twitter (3, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836197)

Why would twitter even, work to create such a functionality? Is this in reaction to SOPA, were they afraid they'd end up getting shut down in the USA if it passed and they don't want to be caught with their pants down?

Even so if this was the case why advertise it? How long before some draconian government demands that twitter use this to censor it's site 'for' its citizens.

Re:Why would twitter (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836305)

SOPA is about piracy. I don't know of any data compression method that will let you put a feature length movie into 140 characters.

Re:Why would twitter (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836343)

Easy, here, take a look at this compression format [wikipedia.org]. You just need a special decompressor software and Internet access to unpack it.

And yes, linking is crime as well in SOPA.

Re:Why would twitter (4, Funny)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836541)

I don't know of any data compression method that will let you put a feature length movie into 140 characters.

Here ya go... The Perfect Storm compressed to less than 140 characters: "They all die"

Re:Why would twitter (3, Funny)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836553)

Ohh crap, I just realized that anyone who reads that is pirating the movie. Sorry guys.

Re:Why would twitter (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836603)

I know you're trying to joke but it honestly wouldn't surprise me that the entertainment industry would want to go after people who posted spoilers.

Re:Why would twitter (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837429)

Maybe not spoilers but I'm surprised they haven't used it against bad reviews. After all, it's basically exactly the same argument as piracy. We have no way of proving people who downloaded the movie otherwise would have paid to see it, just as we have no way of proving people who read a bad review of a movie otherwise would have paid to see it. If the former is a valid reason to instigate laws to prevent piracy how far a step is it for the latter to be used to justify laws against bad reviews?

Re:Why would twitter (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836723)

SOPA is about piracy. I don't know of any data compression method that will let you put a feature length movie into 140 characters.

Actually, you could do it with uuencode, but the length of time and the total number of tweets...you might as well get a minimum-wage job and work to BUY the movie - it would take less time/effort.

Re:Why would twitter (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836817)

You are naive. Pirates are just the strawmen, the real goal of SOPA is to eliminate all user-generated content that threatens the monopoly of the Big Media.

Spiders' net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837905)

You are naive. Pirates are just the strawmen, the real goal of SOPA is to eliminate all user-generated content that threatens the monopoly of the Big Media.

Hmm, even the schools and prisons fail at eliminating "user-generated content". Ultimately, Big Media may usurp the Internet and push us all out, but we will find another way. As long as we have any means of communication, we will exchange the products of our creative minds.

What will probably happen is Big Media will push laws to allow them to appropriate user-generated content and sell it in exchange for 5-minutes fame for the authors, and sheepish masses will be content with it and even love it! Alternative channels will be deemed criminal "black market of ideas", demonized and suppressed. The latter is already happening as we speak, for the former they need to somehow legally differentiate between commercial, "real" IP producers and "amateurs" or "client authors", "petty authors" etc. , but I don't doubt they will think of something. For now we have reality programs and contracts, but with adequate law in place, they could save on legal expenses.

Re:Why would twitter (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836355)

Have you been watching the news? Governments already have demanded Twitter block tweets in their countries. Egypt blocked Twitter during the revolts. This is just to keep themselves out of trouble when that sort of thing happens.

As bad as SOPA is, I very much doubt it has anything to do with this.

Re:Why would twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837411)

If non-compliance resulted in a complete ban on Twitter in that country, then a transparent censorship system is (arguably) less evil: it still allows the tweets to flow, and I think Twitter know deep-down that this censorship won't work the way the bad actors in bad countries hope it will.

Proxy. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836205)

People living in repressive governments have been using proxies for years. This is irrelevant.

Re:Proxy. (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836283)

No, it is very relevant. Besides the fact that not everyone knows about proxies(and they are still not trivial to use on mobile devices, which is what many protesters use), you also have the fact that this is very much a "silent" form of censorship. Unlike less "refined" methods of censorship(for instance the "great firewall of China" where whole sites are blocked), you may not even realize that something had been censored. I doubt there are a significant number of people so paranoid that they constantly connect via a proxy just to check their twitter, esp. since proxies can often introduce a non-trivial amount of latency.

Re:Proxy. (1, Interesting)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836339)

Agreed.

No matter what anyone says. Today Twitter looks far more evil than Google.

Re:Proxy. (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836503)

Agreed.

No matter what anyone says. Today Twitter looks far more evil than Google.

Not for those who don't use it.

If I decided that Twitter, what Twitter does, or the content users of Twitter publish were important and indispensible to my life and my well-being, then yes, I could possibly be tempted to view things like this as an immense evil inflicted on my being. I could also snap out of that kind of thinking and realize Twitter has no power over me except what I elected it to have, and that in such a case I should have chosen more carefully.

Twitter is nothing like the governments themselves in that sense. I am under no obligation to have any interaction with Twitter. I can't simply ignore my government in the same manner because they have people for that.

Re:Proxy. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837311)

No, quite the opposite. Twitter as actually being as brave as they can reasonably get away with. There's a pandemic of misunderstanding here.

Re:Proxy. (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836363)

No, it is very relevant. Besides the fact that not everyone knows about proxies(and they are still not trivial to use on mobile devices, which is what many protesters use), you also have the fact that this is very much a "silent" form of censorship.

Someone has a major case of "I didn't read TFA." Relevant quote:

If Twitter does remove a tweet, users in the country in which it was removed will see a grayed-out tweet in their timeline that says a message from an identified user has been withheld.

This is the exact opposite of "silent" censorship as you seem to mean it. The users know something was blocked, and it sounds like they know who sent it.

Re:Proxy. (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836465)

And you really think they won't go the next step and remove that as well? Furthermore, do they explain what "withheld" means? I doubt anyone not familiar with Twitter will realize what that means(not to mention doing so is probably worse than just deleting it, as it essentially marks the poster as a 'troublemaker')

Re:Proxy. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837301)

I think there are really maybe four of us who understand that this is a measure against censorship, as much as Twitter can make one. The outrage-machine is in full swing and completely misinterprets what is actually going on.

Re:Proxy. (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837481)

This is /. so nobody reads TFA but the quote GP highlights should be in the summary - it's almost the most important part of the story, telling people about censorship of tweets is a whole different ball game than just "blocking" tweets. The fact that it's been left out of the summary is probably a calculated move to provoke just the kind of reaction you're seeing from a community of people who are largely against censorship. If some guy pokes a big stick in a beehive causing the bees to come out and ruin your picnic, do you get mad with the bees, who are merely reacting to a perceived threat, or the guy with the stick?

Re:Proxy. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836619)

If I lived in a country with a history of that sort of censorship then I'd proxy my twitter.

I can't speak to what other people would do... but it won't effect me.

*sigh* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836215)

I'm really starting to get sick and tired of all this damn 1940s style censorship.

tweeting is for pussys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836229)

yo! dood! tweet me woncha tweet me pleeze! i wannave ur tweets allover my budy!

When did they break the internet? (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836241)

How am I supposed to build a webpage, when I have no clue what hyperlinked content will actually be available to the viewer? This is ridiculous.

Re:When did they break the internet? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836411)

How am I supposed to build a webpage, when I have no clue what hyperlinked content will actually be available to the viewer? This is ridiculous.

Really, you're just discovering broken links in 2012?

So you say you don't like your government censoring ... have you tried turning it off and back on again yet?

Re:When did they break the internet? (1)

derfy (172944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836457)

Yes, I've done that. YES, I've tried unplugging and plugging it back in...it's kinda hard to see though because the lights are out.

Re:When did they break the internet? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836491)

I've tried rebooting my government but I'm afraid it won't have valid flash to re-run from and none of us can afford a blinking twelve style government.

can we?

Re:When did they break the internet? (1)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836649)

I'm beginning to think that a blinking 12 government beats one that tells you it is 13 o'clock with a perfectly straight face.

Re:When did they break the internet? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836655)

I'm afraid we'll just have to wipe the disk and install another government. Just switching the UI every 4 years isn't helping.

#ABANDONTWITTER (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836253)

#ABANDONTWITTER - can I be the first to say it? YES! The internet was a great tool to work around a lot of problems... what ever happened?

Re:#ABANDONTWITTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836645)

Make something better silly. Tricks are for programmin' kids ;-)

Re:#ABANDONTWITTER (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836761)

Make something better silly. Tricks are for programmin' kids ;-)

No, something better should be serious. Too bad most of the wireless spectrum is heavily regulated to prevent us "programmin' kids" from creating such a "better" something.

What happened to corporate values? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836319)

Whatever happened to corporate values?
In return for more revenue, companies like Twitter seem to throw all their corporate values in the garbage bin.

The tragic thing is that Twitter does fail to mention on who's behalf they block the content.....

Can we please... (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836449)

just ban Twitter completely and call it a day? I mean honestly, I can't think of a better Internet entity where "and nothing of value was lost" applies.

Re:Can we please... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837521)

So those revolutions that were started on Twitter and oppressive governments that were overthrown using it....nothing of value is lost if that capability is lost? Do you really know what you're talking about or you just another BS anti-social-network clown?

In the words of lewis black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38836511)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzNkolUVBlQ

Yup, that tears it. (1)

GrantRobertson (973370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836637)

Now I know I will never get a Twitter account.

Re:Yup, that tears it. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836767)

I'll create one for you, then cancel it so that you can say you quit.

Re:Yup, that tears it. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836795)

OK. There. I registered "AccessGrant" as the Twitter handle & Grant Robertson as the name -- Then immediately Deactivated the account.

Your account will be permanently deleted in 30 days. If you change your mind you can reactivate by logging in before your account is deleted permanently.

If you actually would like to reconsider, please post your public PGP key and I'll post back the PGP encrypted password. Alternatively you can send me a message at the email address listed above. Note however I don't get spam -- That is: Any message that is not cryptographically verifiable by PGP key will be ignored.

Where did it go? (5, Interesting)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836731)

Liberty? Freedom? Justice?

Where are you?

Guess they were sacrificed in the name of global business interests. When I was a child my father taught me that America was a great country because censorship (in most forms) was completely absent from the the public mind. Hell, I remember reading about the days when leaflets were dropped by American bombers. We shoved our norm of "Freedom of Speech" in everyone faces. We laughed in the face of Communism and censorship. Those were the days...

In this country, any man could stand on a street corner and say what is on his mind. The soapbox on the street is no different from 140 character blurbs shouted out online, but for whatever reason 'people' (i.e. companies and governments) seem to think otherwise. You give an inch, and they'll take a foot. You give a foot, and apparently you end up with companies giving up to foreign regimes like prom girls. Moreover, you have our own legislatures supporting legislation like SOPA and PIPA. I'm guessing the next laws that are passed will form some brand of domestic secret police that's out to stop online piracy, and oh yeah, track down individuals who make defaming comments that "hurt the feelings" of some regime or foreign leader with less than a primary school education. We'll get our act together once our extradition treaties start being used to ship expats away to their country of origin for their ideas and comments said here.

At this rate the very idea of freedom of speech will be gone within our generation.

Re:Where did it go? (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837295)

This move by Twitter has been completely misunderstood. It is difficult to find a platform more committed to free speech than Twitter.

What has changed is that what used to be a global censorship is now limited to the governments that force the material offline.

In the past, if a country in which Twitter was doing business told them to pull a tweet, they'd have to pull it around the world. Now, it will a. only be pulled in the country that ordered the Tweet censored, b. the person who wrote it will find out about it, and c. the chilling effects clearing house will be notified.

Every country will censor something. The US will censor state secrets, libel and slander, and threats. In France, denying either the Armenian or Jewish holocausts will be censored. In some countries, blasphemy is censored. In Germany, any discussion of the Nazis is censored. Before this policy by Twitter, all those things would result in a global ban.

I really don't understand the outrage (I do understand the outrage at the governments which censor, but not at Twitter.) Is reading comprehension so universally bad?

Re:Where did it go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837449)

When I was a child my father taught me that America was a great country because censorship (in most forms) was completely absent from the the public mind.

Absent from public's mind =/= absent.

Your father bought the propaganda: he inadvertently lied to you. Ask victims of Senator McCarthy (as just one example) about their "freedom of speech" in America.

--
LazyCam's mother.

Why? (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837029)

Wouldn't it be better if the countries in question had to block Twitter altogether to get rid of dissent? - That would cause more frustration and more anger towards the authorities, thus hopefully resulting in a revolution. Greyed out tweets won't have the same effect, and the goal here must be freedom from any form of censorship, right?

The AC (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38837071)

I routinely post AC, even though I have a /. account. Want to know why? So that that any of the insider knowledge I have limits it's damage to /. if I decide to shoot my mouth off about a previous employer or some other entity. It's much easier to just post as AC than it is to create an account that can be purged or censored all at once.

This is the lesson for Twitter. Censoring individual tweets, treating them like spam, are the same thing. But The US is the only country in the world where free speech is enshrined by the Constitution. In every other country, you do not have free speech, and saying the wrong thing as a citizen of that country can send you to jail, even though you said it on a foreign website.

In some cases it's morally safer to remove free speech when it puts the practioner of the speech into severe danger. The Westboro loonys may say some horrible things, but they do so at their own peril. It's one thing Americans tend to forget, is that their free speech ends at the US Border.

In Other News (1)

Secret Agent Man (915574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38837885)

I can prevent my own content from appearing in certain countries from my blog or other web sources.

This isn't a Freedom of Speech issue, guys. Twitter is an online service. They can show or hide content however they feel. This isn't like the government stepping in and preventing access -- it's a non-government entity doing stuff with its own content. Is it annoying? Sure. Bad precedent? Maybe. However, the "the sky is falling" SlashDot crowd is jumping the gun a bit, even for them.

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