Monday, January 31, 2011

Twitter declares, 'The tweets must flow'

Of all the major, new social media companies, Twitter seems like the one that is the primary defender of the need for freedom of speech and freedom of communication. In a recent manifesto published on the website's blog, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and the company's General Counsel Alexander Macgillivray highlighted this, by calling for the need for free expression and transparency.

Social network tools have proven to be effective threats against dictators around the world. Twitter recognizes that services like Twitter only serve as "the tools that foster these discussions," but that hardly makes them less necessary in todays world. In the manifesto, Twitter argues that the "open exchange of information can have a positive global impact", something that we may have seen evidence of recently in Tunisia and Egypt.

The regime in Egypt has recently attempted to block internet traffic in Egypt now (as the image below shows). This means that accessing information is very difficult for people in the country. What a regime cannot do, however, is to block information that has already spread. Twitter's ability to partake in these developments may thus have been quite important to spread the recent protests.

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