The announcement last week by Twitter that it can control its users country-by-country is certain to cause the company much grief. For a company founded on the ideal of free speech, Twitter now will have to bear the burden of deciding just how free it should be. The company is less than six years old, but Twitter and its "tweets" have gained a worldwide foothold. Far beyond its use as a social link, the micro-blogging service has been credited with serving government, opposition and anti-establishment groups alike, including rebellions like the Arab Spring. Now Twitter has unleashed a powerful new force which it may not be able to control.
Once, it was stated famously that, "The revolution will not be televised". Now it appears it also may not be tweeted. The decision by Twitter to develop a system of potential censorship puts it directly in a position.
All across the world during the weekend, activists were furiously broadcasting what governments were already thinking: Since Twitter can restrict or totally ban certain tweets on a country-by-country basis, then of course it will do so.
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