Do you tweet? Did you tweet today or did you boycott Twitter? Did you even know about the boycott?
Pop media, social media, relationship media. . . the key word here is media and one of the biggest names in media is Twitter. So this Examiner is wondering, why do some people want to stop tweeting?
Some Americans got mad when Twitter announced it will use its blocking capability to censor selected tweets from certain countries that request this service. They see it as caving in to pressures from countries that do not have our right to free speech. These folks see Twitter as the Marines of the free speech world, charging the beach for free speech equality! Technically, I guess Twitter is caving. . . to a degree.
Let’s face it, Americans love a good protest! We love to carry our signs, chant, march and show the world what freedom means. This is all well and good. . . in America. Many nations around the world don’t have this freedom and can’t get it due to oppressive governments who feel they can totally control their populace. We Americans say that’s wrong. But do we have the right to dictate to another country how they should live? Some Americans think we do. This Examiner’s opinion on this is still out, but I do think that underlying this protest is the American people’s innate desire to see people all over the world be as free as we are.
Is there an alternative? Does Twitter have the right to tell those “other” countries to go perform an anatomical impossibility? Twitter could very well stand their ground and refuse to do this and be blocked entirely in countries who see our right to free speech as interference in their world. How does that help the people in those countries who still might be able to get selective Tweets?
This issue has gone to court before and free speech lost. According to The Washington Post,
In 2006, Yahoo lost its appeal challenging the French government’s right to order the company to remove Nazi memorabilia from its auction site to comply with a French law that prohibits pro-Nazi content.
“Yahoo was a landmark case,” said Cynthia Wong, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s project on global Internet freedom. “It shows how difficult it is to have that global presence.”
Companies must weigh the choice between selective filtering or being blocked from an entire country, she said. “Twitter has shown some willingness to challenge these things in court in the past. This is something they need to keep doing.”
And, by the way, Google and Facebook selectively censor when requested, so Twitter isn’t starting something new here.
What do you think? Should Twitter err on the side of caution or stand up to the world bullies and risk getting shut down in those countries entirely? Should we boycott Twitter? Will you? I realize this is a very hot topic, but I’d appreciate comments.
SOURCE: Washington Post