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Twitter Talks #Censorship, Google Talks +Teens

On Thursday, Twitter said that tweet censorship will now only take place locally instead of globally. Prior to the announcement, the only way the company could operate in certain countries was to remove offending entries on a global scale even if the comments were not offensive or prohibited elsewhere.

"As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," the company said in a blog. "Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content."

Twitter has also created a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why. So far Twitter hasn't been forced to censor a tweet, but if the need arises within a specific country, the company will attempt to let the user know, and clearly mark when content has been withheld. Exactly how Twitter plans to alert the public of censorship is unknown, but hashtags like #censored or #nuked # or #deadbird may be used.

"As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page, http://chillingeffects.org/twitter, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter," the company stated. "One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't."

"The Tweets must continue to flow," Twitter said with a capitol "T."

In other social networking news, teens are now taking over Google+ (+ohsnos, or #ohsnos). Seeing a potential big business, Google has decided to throw open the doors to the 13+ crowd, or as Bradley Horowitz puts it, to help them "build meaningful connections online" while also providing "features that foster safety alongside self-expression."

"Google+ Hangouts bring people together using live multi-person video, and the results range from heartwarming to awe-inspiring," reads his blog. "However, we recognize that connecting face-to-face is special and serious, so if a stranger outside a teen’s circles joins the hangout, we temporarily remove the young adult, and give them a chance to rejoin."

Google has also added a number of teen favorites to the community including +Big Time Rush, +Teen Vogue, +Victoria Justice, +Ashlet Tisdale, +GLEE, and more.

"Our newly launched Google+ Safety Center describes these and other changes in more detail, but our approach is straightforward: build awesome features that teens really want, encourage safe behavior through appropriate defaults and in-product help, and make abuse reporting tools easy to find and use," Horowitz writes.

There goes the +neighborhood.

  • DjEaZy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=citzRjwk-sQ
    ... maybe because of this...
    Reply
  • mrmaia
    Now Google gave us the strongest reason NOT TO use Google +. Thanks.
    Reply
  • tokencode
    Twitter has caved, it no longer represents true freedom of speech. By adhereing to local law and providing censorship meachnism it has shown that it too has lost the vision of true freedom of information. Where the tweets of the protesters in egypt and syria legal under local law? Will twitter help regimes such as these filter anti-government tweets? Will twitter decide what governments it supports and which ones it doesn't and elect to only censor the "good" governments? The little birdie needs to grow a backbone.
    Reply
  • wiyosaya
    tokencodeTwitter has caved, it no longer represents true freedom of speech. By adhereing to local law and providing censorship meachnism it has shown that it too has lost the vision of true freedom of information. Where the tweets of the protesters in egypt and syria legal under local law? Will twitter help regimes such as these filter anti-government tweets? Will twitter decide what governments it supports and which ones it doesn't and elect to only censor the "good" governments? The little birdie needs to grow a backbone.Exactly!!

    I find it amazing just how far backward humanity can go with each supposed advancement. The "Arab Spring" never would have happened without Twitter, and now, Twitter caves making it all the more difficult for something like the "Arab Spring" to happen again - and all in the name of making a buck, I bet, and growing the company. :(
    Reply
  • cybneo
    Alternately, users could just bypass the restrictions altogether: The Next Web has posted instructions for how to subvert the censorship.

    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    I would never let my son have a Google+ account or any "social networking" account.
    Even if Google tries their best to ward off predators they will still find a way. I know a woman who was stalked and then sexually assaulted by a stranger that found her on Facebook. If that can happen to a adult than why even put children at risk?

    As for Twitter I think it is shameful that that they would bring in censorship. It is a shame we always see this happen when companies that originate from places that value the freedoms of speech and expression show in the end they don't care and will fold to the oppressive governments. If I owned Twitter I would rather Twitter be completely banned from any place that demanded this than to be guilty of being part of that censorship. Some things are worth more than profits, freedom is one of those things.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Well great, now even Google+ will be swarmed with tweens.
    Reply
  • livebriand
    NO twitter! And why didn't you give a shit when there was all the debate about SOPA and PIPA?

    btw I didn't even know Google+ wasn't open to teens. If I were interested, I would've joined anyway. (side note: I don't care at all about social networking)
    Reply
  • jryan388
    As if any 15 year old wouldn't lie about his birthday on a website. Definitely not on the game sites either where you have to be 18.
    Reply
  • biscuitasylum
    Twitter is the proof in the pudding when it comes to how simple minded people are.
    Reply