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How Will You React To Twitter's Regional Censorship Plan?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the 140-chars-plus-the-evil-bit dept.

Twitter 181

Despite (and probably partly because of) its much-touted role as a communications link in the Arab Spring protest movements of the last year, Twitter announced a few days ago that it could be (which I take to mean "will be, and probably are") selectively blocking tweets based on local governments' requests. This AP story (as carried by stuff.co.nz) gives an overview of the negative reaction this move has drawn; unsurprisingly, there's talk of a boycott. The EFF has what seems to be a fair look at the reality of Twitter take-downs, noting that for various reasons they remove certain content already, but not as much as some parties would like; VentureBeat looks at the thousands of take-down notices the company received last year. If you use Twitter, does the recently announced region-specific blocking change what you'll use it for?

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I won't (5, Funny)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857799)

I won't react.

Re:I won't (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857835)

I will, by continuing to not have a twitter account or pay attention to tweets

Re:I won't (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857967)

twitter and facebook remind me SO MUCH of the cb craze in the 70's.

you could spot the unintelligent ones easily. they 'liked' cb.

today, the fools 'like' fb and twit.

its always handy to have a 'fools identification' device of some kind or another, isn't it?

on topic: I'll be happy to see those services (that are centrally controlled and owned by ONE COMPANY (each) fail due to people not wanting to deal with censorship. I really miss the old days where the USENET model was popular. you know, not one single company owning it, not one single place to spy on people, not one single place to filter what the people want to say and see and hear. then, web-based this and that came into playing and websites are owned by single entities, not 'the people'. that was the start of the end of net.freedom.

I hope fb and T die. they are not really freedom based, are they? we used to have mass communication tools that were truly freedom based. mabye we can revisit them again, in some other way?

if a single company or group is behind it, its bad. yes, including the beloved google, too.

Re:I won't (1)

geogob (569250) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858087)

Maybe I was too young in the 70's to see what was really going on, but looking back at the state of things as I started to get aware of such things - and very young I already was a "techno-freak" so to say - I believe the comparison is difficult.

On one side, you are correct, it seems like the same kind of craze. On the other hand, the so called social media craze (I'm including in that the full spectrum, from twitter, to myspace) seems quite more widespread than the cb on the 70's. I believe it is less than 10% of the people I know that do not use social media sites in any way or form. Less than 25% that are not on facebook (regardless how active they are - so are very little, other much). Twitter acceptation in my circle seems quite less widespread.

Anyway, with numbers like this, it forces me to take a step back a the cb comparison, however correct it might seem at first hand.

Re:I won't (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858139)

On the other hand, the so called social media craze (I'm including in that the full spectrum, from twitter, to myspace) seems quite more widespread than the cb on the 70's.

The numbers are much smaller than CB. Here's an interesting article.

http://billcrosby.com/socialmedia/how-many-twitter-users-are-there-really-graph/ [billcrosby.com]

Depending on how you interpret the data, around 1 in 50 americans actually use twitter. At one point in the 70s, darn near 1 in 10 cars had a CB radio installed.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Most people have nothing to say, and are not interested in passively listening to others. Also its exceedingly circular, its not a surprise that most of the people you personally hang out with are into social media if you define the persons you hang out with as people who are into social media... This is the "everyone is a trekkie" effect where all the trekkies hang out together believing the entire world is trekkies because everyone they know is a trekkie.

Re:I won't (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858715)

I think one of the reasons CB had as big of a share as it did, was the relative lack of other options. There were no cell phones. (Even long distance phone calls were expensive) Radiotelephones were extremely expensive to use, and ham radio required passing a test involving regulations and technology (and Morse code at that time). Of course the ways people interact now are more diverse.

It's ironic that efforts to throttle/censor expression or unrest may very well fuel feelings of dissent. Having a government of the people, by the people, for the people is a very precious thing. The more we deviate from that, the more we're asking for trouble.

Solutions? Well it seems many of those with the wealth need to be pouring some back more back in ways that help the future. And by that I don't mean a focus on their getting a still bigger piece of the piece, but fueling the grass roots of innovation and opportunity. Instead of venture-capital opportunists taking advantage of people with ideas, we need vast numbers of no-strings infusions. It may mean bringing back near Reagan era tax rates (they DID love the guy, right??? Why not accept his tax rates?), but giving credit at better than a 1:1 ratio for relatively small (individually) no-strings infusions. Fuel settings that produce ideas and developing them. Whether it be small grants for things similar to some college senior projects (do it in high school and summer camps too), or community hacker houses (places where people can visit/live to work on projects, exchange ideas). Some really low budget things can be done too. Give kids a supervised setting to take apart electronics recyclables and make things from the parts. Can they make stereos, small ham transmitters, solar energy converting do-dads from the parts in old PC power supplies? Engineer things that can create opportunities in economically depressed areas, give people work even doing piecemeal (perhaps at home) work that's part of another project. It's great that Bill Gates is doing things for world health, but we need others helping to fuel other needs WITHOUT STRINGS. When things are driven solely by profit motive they can go horribly wrong. Look what taking off the ownership restrictions on broadcast outlets has done. (cut the financial strings that fuel corruption, ban broadcasters from running PAID political ads, have them provide only limited fairly dispensed free public affairs time as part of license terms)

Don't suppress peoples expressions of dissent, but work at fixing the root problems.

Re:I won't (1)

onjulic (1716296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858371)

You needed a CB radio, something you could not use for anything else. Most CB's were installed in cars. Base units cost more, as did hand held models. Buying a model for a car and using it in the home? Possible, but not for the average person. Twitter? All you need is a phone or a computer -- something many people already have. The "entry" into Twitter is cheaper/easier, which is why it might be more widespread, but I think the comparison is valid.

Re:I won't (2)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858871)

You needed a CB radio, something you could not use for anything else. Most CB's were installed in cars. Base units cost more, as did hand held models. Buying a model for a car and using it in the home? Possible, but not for the average person. Twitter? All you need is a phone or a computer -- something many people already have. The "entry" into Twitter is cheaper/easier, which is why it might be more widespread, but I think the comparison is valid.

Except for the fact that in some very real ways the CB radio was actually useful. Useful primarily for finding out where the police were on the interstate, so you wouldn't get a ticket for going over the new, and much hated 55 mph speed limit, useful for calling for help traveling or talking to your buddies following you in the next car. Weather and road conditions passed from truckers and motorists etc. They certainly created and highlighted a subculture many of us would like to think of as unintelligent and coarse, that is truckers, truck stop folks and the very rural, but CB communications was also very practical. No one has tweeted to me that there was a speed trap around the bend.

Re:I won't (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858183)

I don't fully understand how this got modded as insightful. Have you ever used Twitter at all? Twitter is actually very useful if you want to see what many in the videogames industry are up to. That's what I use it for. Nobody forces you to tweet your entire life, either. The fact that you actually put Facebook and Twitter in the same basket speaks volumes of your ignorance.

--
Tired of the Google assholes? Switch to DuckDuckGo [donttrack.us] today!

Re:I won't (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858205)

And by 'fools' I guess you mean 'people with social lives'. Also, if you look at the state of p2p communication tools you will see why they are done by big companies: they have the evil money to actually develop them.

Re:I won't (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858277)

People with real social lives don't need to whore for attention online with internet sound bites.

Re:I won't (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858335)

Many people use social sites as a communication tool. It might not be optimal, but for communication you need a platform that most people can and do use, otherwise you will have lengthy discussions with yourself on a service nobody uses.

Re:I won't (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858349)

This is a false dichotomy. Some people actually speak to their friends face to face, or using the email system, IM system, telephone system, etc. You do not need a service or a system at all, just need a functional mouth and air (or to be fair to deaf or mute people, functional hands).

Re:I won't (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858459)

Believe me I speak to my friends often, but sometimes I just don't feel like traveling to the other side of the country just to have a talk. There is a reason communication tools were invented, and while you are lucky to have all your friends within speaking distance back in the cave most people are not like that. Email and IM are good for different purposes, but the nice thing about Twitter is that it combines the advantages of both. It's fast enough for realtime chat but does not require all parties to be online all the time, and it's trivial to have a conversation with multiple people.

Re:I won't (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858489)

Had to work a little too hard to get friends/followers, dint'cha?

Re:I won't (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858303)

I am neither on Twitter nor on Facebook, and...
  1. I have a girlfriend
  2. I am routinely invited to parties
  3. I have friends who share various interests with me
  4. I talk to my friends, family, girlfriend, acquaintances, etc.

So what was that about people with social lives? Where I am from, one's social life is not defined by some website's list of followers, friends, freaks, or whatever else.

Re:I won't (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858879)

over or under 30 ?

I am over 30, for me and almost everyone I know in the age group, what you said is true. However, for almost any 20-something I know, the opposite is true. So I postulate that this is a generational thing

Re:I won't (4, Interesting)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858237)

Twitter lost me when they ruined their search capability.

Google+ easily replaced it, more convenient than Twitter, Email, video conferencing beats telephone, etc.

But the CB analogy doesn't hold water, as Google+ replaced email/phone for many people I interact with, they are non-technical, so find it more convenient. Meanwhile my technical friends appreciate it too, given the control and ease they have with the tool.

The only frustrating part, telephones used to be ubiquitous. Nowadays, some people never check voicemail, some people never answer the phone but rely on voicemails; some people expect texts, some never text; some email, some consider email old-school/too formal; some use Twitter, some use Google+ (thankfully nobody in my varied social circles used Facebook)--to contact anyone requires not just knowing their number/address/handle/whatever, but also knowing what their preferred communication medium is!

Re:I won't (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858251)

I'll be happy to see those services (that are centrally controlled and owned by ONE COMPANY (each) fail due to people not wanting to deal with censorship

Except that most people will continue to use these systems, and when it comes time to talk about taboo/censored topics they will just used commonly understood code words. People are not going to give up on Twitter because of censorship, just like they did not give up on Facebook because of censorship, or the App Store, or any number of other systems that engage in censorship. The number of people who really care and really want to end censorship is extremely small; most people just want to live their lives and if possible skirt around censorship.

Not only that, but there is an incentive for regressive governments to allow people to skirt censorship. If people only barely evade the censors, then the censors can easily stop the conversation should they need to -- say, if there are mass protests against the government. People will always find a way to skirt the censors, and if your censors are at the limits of what they are capable of, then you lose. Governments want people to be aware that they are being watched, to know that the government has the power to censor them, and to be able to censor people as necessary.

There are certainly exceptions, but for the most part governments know that if the tighter they close their fists, the more citizens will slip through their fingers.

Re:I won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858265)

I get faster customers service via twitter than I do by email, phone, letter, in person, or fax. Facebook is a close second. So maybe I am unintelligent, but I have companies quickly responding to me when I need answers, help, action.

By the way, clear and correct writing is a way to gauge intelligence, too. In that respect, you've failed my tests.

Re:I won't (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858275)

Herpderp.

I "like" facebook because it got me in contact with a friend that I hadn't spoken to since I left england when I was in the 6th grade.

I "like" facebook because some of my friends, including my significant other, make funny posts or post funny pictures.

I "like" facebook because with my busy personal life, where I have *maybe* 2 1/2 days of free time to myself per week, I can easily keep up with my friends and they don't have to feel rushed or pressured to talk to me right away.

Nothing that I put up on FB is anything that I'm worried about hiding. Besides, if someone of any relative importance wants to find out something about me, they will. Do you honestly think you're invisible? You fall under the same rules that I do.

Re:I won't (0)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858313)

"+5, insightful" for popular prejudices. Good to see Slashdot's echo chamber still being in full effect. That is, after all, what freedom is all about.

Re:I won't (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858465)

The saddest thing about twitter & fb is that they are used by the majority of the teenagers, who in all their enthusiasm to talk-connect-post photos with others and lacking the experience needed to discriminate what one should and what one shouldn't post in the web about himself, they have no sense of the value of privacy. And when they finally "get it" after a few years, it will probably be too late for them

Re:I won't (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858807)

I, for one, encourage hot, barely legal chicks to not value the privacy of their genitalia. +1 Like!

Re:I won't (1)

ericartman (955413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858775)

Lol my mom worked as a physicist at SLAC in the 70's, when she won CB'er of the year. I still remember how proud she was of that. BTW Twitter? Closed my account.

Re:I won't (4, Informative)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858797)

its always handy to have a 'fools identification' device of some kind or another, isn't it?

Yes. For example, I have had much success identifying self-important twats with superiority compelxes by their incessant need to talk about how much smarter they are than anybody who uses Facebook or Twitter.

Re:I won't (1)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858833)

Amazingly, that will be my reaction as well. The ability to broadcast txt messages indiscriminately, and read the txts of others broadcast thusly. Just doesn't do anything for me.

Me neither... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858101)

...because I will continue to not use Twitter at all.

I'm not a twit either (3, Interesting)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858301)

I'm not a Twitting Twat, so I can't care about this. Nor am I a Farcebooker.

In fact, I detest the trend of every website to have these obnoxious pop-up "friend" and "share" buttons that go to there and a few other lame hipster sites, such as Redduuhh. When /. added that a few weeks ago, I promptly added the icons image to my AdBlock, though the cursor still changes over that area. (Of course all of sharethis.com was already in my AdBlock.)

Re:Me neither... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858571)

...because I will continue to not use Twitter at all.

Likewise. I even dare to hope that the regular news media will soon relegate twitter-derived "news" to an appropriate small-print corner. While it preserves the superficiality of any message in the typical tweet, this geographical/national segregation and potential censorship will eviscerate what little plausibility they had.

Their "common carrier" status (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857807)

Is now out the window. Expect tons of lawsuits due to content posted/saved/viewed. They will now be liable for the content to, not just the end users.

Not a good status to lose, with the upcoming legislation like SOPA..

Re:Their "common carrier" status (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857979)

They would be held liable regardless.. It was a business decision based on the advice of bean counters and lawyers. However those who don't react negatively to censorship of any kind will obviously approve of this.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858321)

Still, the decision is baffling. Twitter got huge amounts of good publicity during the Arab Spring, and now they've decided they'll censor based on country? WTF?

Re:Their "common carrier" status (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858421)

They might get caught stepping on the wrong toes. They are following orders. They are too valuable as a propaganda tool to just allow to run wild. And "Arab Spring" is about as real as Arab Unicorns.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (4, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858001)

"common carrier" status is an internal (as in inside the country) concept.

Common carrier often prevent content from reaching beyond the countries borders.

Anyone who lives in Canada sees this all the time with big US providers blocking content to Canada. And the reverse is true as well, where Canada prevents (or tries) certain content from getting in.

Twitter blocking content sent to Canada would not be much different then US superbowl ads being blocked from coming into Canada on the cable/satellite feeds. That it's done for copyright reasons over whatever reasons is not Twitter's issue. That they may choose to try to attempt to obey the laws of the countries they are blocking tweets to (at least I would gather this is why they would be blocking any tweets) has little to do with "common carrier" status.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858065)

Anyone who lives in Canada sees this all the time with big US providers blocking content to Canada. And the reverse is true as well, where Canada prevents (or tries) certain content from getting in.

Then why can't Canada do something useful for once and block things like Justin Bieber, Bryan Adams and Celine Dion from getting into this country.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858755)

We had no problem seeing them leave and locked the border behind them. Blocking people from entering your country is a customs or homeland security issue. Why not use some of Bush Jr.'s laws to have them declared as terrorists and their music WMD's? That should be enough to get them deported to Guantanamo. You could chain them up and force them to listen to each others music. The UN Human Rights Commission would probably look the other way just this once.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (4, Insightful)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858067)

To add to my above post:

If I ship a bag of weed via purolator courier, purolator has no idea what it is and it is protected. Purolator is not expected, and should not ever, be opening my package to see what it is. When purolator reaches the border, purolator would, as a common carrier, not be able to DEMAND that the package not be opened or checked or what not.

But the grand parent suggests that if purolator allowed the border to stop the package, they would lose common carrier status and that simply is incredibly speculative.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858643)

Ha. I used to work for Purolator USA. God, I hope its Canadian brethren is a billion times better run. It took me three months to get my final paycheck from them, among other idiotic issues. One of my bosses used to think that he was working for a front for some Canadian Mafia or something. Sorry, totally off topic.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (2)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858059)

Is now out the window. Expect tons of lawsuits due to content posted/saved/viewed. They will now be liable for the content to, not just the end users.

Not a good status to lose, with the upcoming legislation like SOPA..

Appeasing governments will make Twitter less vulnerable to legal issues. Governments will now like Twitter rather than fear it, and have incentive to protect and promote it rather then other ways of communicating on the internet. This is an economic move, buying corporate stability at the expense of the users. RIM, Microsoft, Cisco and many other companies have followed this same strategy of appeasing governments at the expense of users.

Re:Their "common carrier" status (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858071)

They are not common carriers. Most ISPs try to avoid the designation "Common Carrier" because it gives them extra legal obligations.

Don't know. (4, Informative)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857811)

I'll probably go with "continue to not use twitter".

Re:Don't know. (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857925)

Yeah, since I'm neither a twelve year old girl nor a "professional blogger", I'll probably just continue to not use the shitty service. They can do what they like with it and those who don't like the changes will maybe get a clue and move on to something less fucking inane.

Par for the course (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857815)

I still won't use Twitter.

Re:Par for the course (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857847)

I bet you don't watch television and make sure everyone knows about it too.

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857887)

I don't watch television. I also inform everyone who asks that I do not watch television. You know, kind of like how there was a question in the subject line to which GP was responding?

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857901)

Yeah but twitter is even more retarded.

Re:Par for the course (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858017)

it used to be a meme to say "I'm too good for tv" but you know what, you and I both really ARE too good for tv.

you likely have a brain. I know I do. tell me how you can watch that infestation and not be continually insulted by 98% of what's on?

when I was stupid (ie, a youth) I didn't know any better. as you grow up, though, I would expect tv consumption to go down, down and down. if its not, you really should re-evaluate your life.

get online and talk/chat with people. at least that's far more social than the one-way model the tube provides. look at people watching tv and see how zombie-like they become. have you noticed that? do you ever watch people as they watch tv? thought processes are suspended and you're told exactly what to think and feel.

just turn it off!

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858135)

I just watch My Little Pony...

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858505)

There's no -1 Disturbing moderation :/

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858161)

You must be a joy to be with socially.

At first I thought you were trolling, but then I looked at your posting history and see instead that you are a curmudgeon who also believes he is the smartest person in the room.

Just because YOU don't find value in something means that it is worthless. Sure there is a lot of crap TV out there, but there is also a lot of thought-provoking and interesting programming.

Even for the crap shows,so what? Maybe I want to take an hour and just relax and be entertained.

Maybe you should re-evaluate your life and focus less on feeling superior to other slashdotters.

Re:Par for the course (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858309)

when I was stupid (ie, a youth) I didn't know any better.

Its not so much stupid as ignorant.

That TV police drama is actually pretty good. Once you've seen it, you don't have to watch it, or the endless remakes again. I certainly don't. I kind of liked the Stereotypical Sci Fi show, but it got a bit overdone in the late 90s what with about half a dozen simultaneous remake/copycat series.

Not unique to TV... Once you've absorbed all there is from the LOTR and related books, you ... just stop reading them, and start reading something new. Same with any other book. If you really want to stir the pot then you ask why the bible / koran / torah doesn't get the same treatment. I read the bible, once, didn't much care for it, kind of repetitive, needs editing. Also read the Koran, even if it was an infidel english translation (apparently a translation is a major no-no) it had some interesting stories and poetry, I'd recommend it for a read. The books of mormon were ... unusual, not really what I was expecting, to the point that its hard to evaluate. Scientologist scriptures, I read those too.

Kind of similar with movies. That movie, the one with the wisecracking detective partners in a kind of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy ends up with girl, theme but recast into a manly bro-mance with two straight dudes, combined with car chasing and catching the bad guy, yeah that was a good movie. No interest in seeing it again, or the thousandth remake/sequel/copycat, but it was a decent movie.

I wish there were more than 20 or so TV shows and 20 or so movies. I'd watch them.

Re:Par for the course (1)

hutsell (1228828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858649)

it used to be a meme to say "I'm too good for tv" ... look at people watching tv and see how zombie-like they become. have you noticed that? do you ever watch people as they watch tv? thought processes are suspended and you're told exactly what to think and feel. ...

Original Bumper Sticker: "The more you watch TV, the less you know."
Updated B.S.: "The more you Tweet **, the less you know."
Obligatory Post Replying to Updated B.S.: "The more you Slashdot, the less you know."

** (Choose One or More of: Tehweet/FaceBook/MySpace/Surf/etc.)

Perhaps: "The more you TwoDotOh, the less you know." is better.
Better yet I prefer: "The more you SocNet, the less you know."; which, of course, if true, means my IQ has just dropped a couple of points by making this post.

Re:Par for the course (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858169)

I bet you don't watch television and make sure everyone knows about it too.

On a percentage basis, almost everyone watches TV, and almost no one uses twitter. But the twitter users only hang out with other twitter users, so they think the whole world is on twitter, because their whole world is on twitter. The TV watchers do use the same circular reasoning. However one group is a overwhelming majority, and the other a tiny minority.

Re:Par for the course (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858273)

Yes. I don't tweet, watch tv, or facebook. I also read actual paper books, by which I mean non-fiction. I do go tothe movies, but close my eyes and sing Beatles songs in my head during the commercials (best way to beat brainwashing, thanks Dr Zarkov!).

Re:Par for the course (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857855)

Exactly.

Re:Par for the course (2, Informative)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858147)

Because you don't use twitter this does not concern you?

        First they came for the communists,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

        Then they came for the trade unionists,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews,
        and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

        Then they came for the Catholics,
        and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.

        Then they came for me
        and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Re:Par for the course (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858213)

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

You misquoted him. This is the actual poem:

                Then they came for me
                and there was no one left to speak out for me because twitter was failwhale and anyway all they wanted to talk about was celebrity gossip and local weather conditions not philosophy and freedoms.

We have better systems (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858399)

We have systems that are harder to censor and that interoperate with more devices than Twitter. I believe that one of the more popular ones was invented about 60 years ago. Had it been invented more recently, perhaps there would be a patent on it, which would look something like this:

A system for exchanging text messages between computer systems, which can be directed to specific users, with a specific subject line, and which can be uniquely identified by a message ID.

If Twitter wants to capitulate and censor its users, then people can send messages via email, Usenet, IRC, etc., and they can encrypt those messages, or send them through anonymous remailers, Tor, etc. The fact that people says more about how much they care about censorship and free speech than about anything else.

That's a great idea! (3, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857833)

Now that they are saying they are willing and able to police every message that goes through their system, they are now responsible for content. Lawyers everywhere rejoice.

So now if anyone tweets anything illegal or uses twitter in the process of committing a crime, Twitter opens itself up to legal repercussions. If they can censor some stuff, they should be able to censor other stuff too. Failure to do so under our legal system could be actionable.

So long, Twitter. We hardly knew ye.

Bullshit (2)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858119)

Now that they are saying they are willing and able to police every message that goes through their system

They never said that. They said that if they are asked to take material down, they can now do so on a country-by-country basis rather than globally. Does removing content due to a DMCA request cause you to loose "common carrier status"? No, it is necessary to preserve it! Does removing neo-Nazi material in Germany when it is pointed out cause you to loose "common carrier status". No! All this talk about Twitter opening itself up to liability simply by complying with the law is completely unfounded and ignorant of the law.

If you operate in a country you are required to abide by their laws. Google and all the other major search engines have been blocking content for years. Twitter is doing so in a manner that does not affect people outside of that country, which draws attention to the fact that censorship is taking place, and allows for an easy work-around (proxies) to access the information which has been blocked. It is the best possible implementation they could have chosen which still complies with the law.

Diaspora! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857843)

...on you own server

Twitter is done.. Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857845)

It can no longer be the social force that helped -- at least in part -- drive the Arab spring.

Open source alternatives? Ideally something decentralized, a "twitter" that lives on the back of bittorrent technology?

This is the time we really need to fight for an open internet, that isn't subject to corporate and government whims.

There is an open war on free speech worldwide. SOPA/PIPA were just early skirmishes. There's lots more to be done, but us geeks surely are up to the challenge, are we not?

Re:Twitter is done.. Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857953)

People are the force, not technology. Twitter facilitates; it is not and has never been a driving force.

Re:Twitter is done.. Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858005)

Obivously I meant "twitters large body of mostly young and politically motivated users"

Of course, you do nothing to answer the question. You want to sound smart in a subject you know nothing about, and only come off smug.

Re:Twitter is done.. Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858049)

That wasn't obvious at all. So you are looking for "open source alternatives" to "twitters large body of mostly young and politically motivated users"?

Re:Twitter is done.. Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858073)

I believe there's an amazing thing called an RSS/Atom feed...

Twitter? Who cares? (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857875)

Nobody worthwhile listening to is using that atrocity anyways.

I'll stop tweeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857929)

And end my account. Maybe I'll use diaspora more now.

This makes my opinion on Twitter even worse (2)

jperl (1453911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857933)

Another reason for me to continue my boycott. To be honest, the only way Twitter makes sense for me is sort of real time support to questions I ask to a company. Apart from that I simply cannot see real benefit for my life.

Simply don't care (1)

thexile (1058552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857949)

Whatever on Twitter is rubbish.

SEEING AS HOW TWITTER IS FOR TWATS, NOTHING !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857955)

And there we have the answer to your querty !!

Orgy of stupidity (5, Insightful)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857977)

It seems as though nobody who is reacting to what Twitter has stated actually read or thought about the new policy, instead parading headlines like “Social Suicide”. It's easily the most subversive and transparent approach to censorship to date. They are already obliged by law to remove content in various countries, and have done so. The alternative is complete blocking of the service by the country. Until now, complying required removing content globally. What Twitter has done is made it possible to only remove content in the country that requested the block (reactively, like DMCA takedowns), while still leaving it visible to the rest of the world.

Now countries with screwball notions of free speech cannot affect beyond their borders. Also, those *inside* the country will be notified that they are seeing blocked content, instead of just an absence, and the censoring will be documented on Chilling Effects. Before, if content were censored, it would be impossible to see it no matter where you are, or where you pretended to be. Now, people's voices can still get out, the oppression of their voices will be more apparent, and it's still possible to get around the censorship if necessary.

Jurisdiction? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858293)

Why is Twitter operating in those countries? How did they wind up in those countries' jurisdiction? Is not the point of the Internet to enable global communication between computers? Should not Twitter's servers be in a country that does not require censorship (that we do not like)?

Twitter is not obligated to follow Chinese or Saudi Arabian laws unless they are operating in China or Saudi Arabia. We criticize the US for trying to apply their laws everywhere, so why not hold other countries to the same standard?

Re:Jurisdiction? (2)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858347)

Correct. The EFF article points out that Twitter's locations are “United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, and soon Germany”, in addition to the United States (the “various countries” I was referring to). They are only obligated to act on legal requests inside those countries. This policy allows Twitter to expand its physical presence, without having to then deal with a convoluted mess of free speech laws that are different in each of those countries. And it's not limited to government requests. The bulk of what Twitter takes down has been DMCA-based.

Re:Jurisdiction? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858359)

This policy allows Twitter to expand its physical presence

...which is necessary because...? Again, the Internet should obviate any need for Twitter to have servers or operations in countries whose laws would require them to censor their users.

Re:Jurisdiction? (1)

vandoravp (709954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858447)

To meet that requirement, Twitter would have to host their servers on a barge in the middle of the ocean.

Re:Jurisdiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858357)

Twitter is not obligated to follow Chinese or Saudi Arabian laws unless they are operating in China or Saudi Arabia.

But they have to follow the laws in the US. And if you think your constitution will protect you, haven't you heard it is just a piece of paper?

Where's the decentralized Version of Twitter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38857989)

We already know how to make decentralized currency and monitor it, so why not make a decentralized communication service that can't be governed by idiots in suits?

easy (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38857993)

i will continue not to use twitter.

honestly: the internet was not meant to be dominated by a few servers. If you now have this situation because you are lazy, then i cant help.

"Arab Spring" is a farce (0, Troll)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858013)

A low cost way of installing a more palatable friendly dictator. Though Twitter was used, it was hardly a "grass roots" event by any means

This will only affect 1% of Twitter... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858033)

...so don't worry. Unless they determine that "I'm eating pie" and "gotta go take a shit" are deemed anti-Government, the other 99% of tweets will remain woefully intact.

Re:This will only affect 1% of Twitter... (3)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858099)

We can expect the tweets like,"Just got harassed by random homeland security checkpoint" or " Police brutality" to be promptly disappeared.

Re:This will only affect 1% of Twitter... (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858253)

We can expect the tweets like,"Just got harassed by random homeland security checkpoint" or " Police brutality" to be promptly disappeared.

And much like humans have been doing for thousands of years, we can expect users to adjust to such activity and obfuscate their topics through various methods.

Siri might be good, but no way in hell is she a match for the human mind. It is still the most powerful computer.

I will laugh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858079)

And continue not using twitter.

Thanks for asking.

last sentenced sums it up, nicely (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858109)

"Twitter could have taken a stand and refused to enter any countries with the most restrictive laws against free speech."

here we see a money-grubbing corp sucking cocks of governments, everywhere.

if that does not sway you away from using these 'services', I'm not sure what will. do you have a concience? then stop using these things and stop patronizing these evil companies.

yes, evil. they had something really special and sold out FOR MONEY.

pathetic.

built on freedom, denied to others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858165)

Isn't it ironic that a business like twitter was treated in united states will you have guaranteed freedom of the press. Yet, the company is reinforcing the denial of those rights to citizens in other countries?

Very sad.

Private option (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858175)

Luckily Twitter has a private option that allows me to whitelist the people who can see my messages.

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858261)

is Twitter? is it for twits?

Held hostage (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858361)

What's Twitter supposed to do? They have two options:

(a) Agree to censor by regions on the request of governments.

(b) Have those governments block Twitter so it cannot become a normal part of life in those countries.

We can't blame Twitter for this, much as I detest it and those Idiocracy-style 140 character updates.

Twitter will be replaced (2)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858367)

Twitter will be replaced with something that has security built-in and fundamental to its nature. Message signing, sequence integrity, and a distributed hosting system are the obvious next steps.

Security needs to be designed in at the start. Changing any type of communication after its widespread adoption to be more secure against censorship and offer (more of) the protections of anonymity has proved difficult. Securing email hasn't worked. HTTP was supplemented with a separate protocol rather then having security added. Phones moved from analog to digital but didn't adopt encryption. DNSSEC is an exception that proves the rule.

Change from Twitter to a new system might take a long time due to the network effect, but people want free speech and the option of anonymity, so it's inevitable.

Re:Twitter will be replaced (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858813)

Friendica, Diaspora and others are already up and running and growing exponentially as we speak, which means that technology-wise we're already on the verge of having a federated social web.

The next problem will be to have a federated social web that is profitable for the people who work to create and maintain it. That's a very, very serious problem by the way. Your federated social web is not really resistant if it depends on Google ads, because that would mean that the whole system would have a single point of failure that a government could exploit by putting pressure on Google to ban ad users that don't behave according to the government's liking.

Look in the mirror (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858409)

"Hurf durf people who use twitter are twits and im supah smart I dont use it" - slashdotter

My twitter feed is much more informative, insightful, and funny than any of the hot-pockets scented idiocy this site's users belch up these days.

My 13 year old cousins facebook page is likely to have more technical insight than you all could muster.

I'm posting AC, of course. I don't have a slashdot account, only a fucking moron would sign their name to this undending wankfest of smug wannabes. *checkmate*

The real question (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858431)

If i stand at the top of a mountain and yell to those below,
at what point can i expect to see a helicopter land, present a man,
who covers my mouth with his hand?

it doesn't matter anyway.. (1)

wormout (2558092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858439)

The battle for freedom of the centralised, unencrypted internet is being lost (after the writing being on the wall for decades), everyone who really cares is moving to more hardened, resilient methods of communication. I've seen more increase in activity on freenet, etc in the last 2 or 3 years, than ever.

Twitter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858445)

...why the fuck would I care about something that has no value to me whatsoever

Don't really care (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858463)

The only thing I use my account for is when sites like Macheist or whatever offer something cool for free when you tweet about their event.

Twitter ? (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38858721)

What is this bird-like sound you speak of?

I will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858791)

I might fart, but I fart quite a bit so i'm not what that all means.
I don't think i will do anything else, maybe eat lunch now.

Globalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38858801)

The globalization of enonomy makes no sense if companies bend to the will of authoritarian regimes. It's like opening a McDonald's restaurant in an arab county only to sell local traditional food. They could as well remove the name.

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