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José Luis Orihuela Colliva, Culture and Audiovisual Communication, University of Navarra, Spain

Trills under suspicion

Sat, 28 Jan 2012 16:00:03 +0000 Published in

Twitter's advertisement , in a post without signature on its official blog, that it will begin selectively blocking content in those countries where authorities demand it, has provoked an unprecedented wave of protests on the platform.

The international expansion plans of the business will lead it to "enter countries that have different ideas about the limits of freedom of expression", and Twitter is ready to compromise by putting at risk a prestige deservedly achieved after its contribution to the revolutions of The Arab Spring and the global protests of 2011.

There are two positive aspects to this blatantly pragmatic advertisement : tweets will be blocked only in the countries whose legislation they transgress, but will be accessible to the rest of the world, and blocking decisions will be transparent to all users, and those affected will be notified.

On the other side of the scale, there is concern, already expressed by Reporters Without Borders, that this step "will deprive Internet users in countries with repressive governments of a crucial source of information and mobilization tool ".

On the other hand, it is not out of the question that democratic countries that are adopting legal frameworks that penalize links to copyright-protected files may use this door opened by Twitter to extend their persecution of Internet users.

It happens that there are some doors that once opened cannot be closed again.