Twitter has unveiled plans to censor tweets on a country-by-country basis, drawing criticism from free-speech advocates a year after it was praised by Internet Freedom advocates for allowing Egyptian dissidents to continue tweeting after the Internet was blocked during the Arab Spring.
Twitter says its country-specific censorship is meant to replace its previous system, when tweets that were taken down disappeared completely. Twitter will now censor some tweets in certain countries, but posts will remain visible elsewhere in the world. Twitter says it will be transparent about when and why tweets are censored. Twitter will post information on censored tweets at chillingeffects.org
Many Twitter users, however, are outraged and believe the company is selling out Internet freedom, possibly with an eye for entering the China market, where it is blocked, though it is used by Chinese dissidents to get information to the outside world.
"If Twitter censors then I'll stop tweeting," Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei tweeted after hearing the news.