It has been roughly a month since Twitter announced that, going forward, tweets could be selectively removed on a country

-by-country basis. In other words, its new technology will allow Twitter to withhold content in a specific country if required to do so by law but keep the tweets available to the rest of the world. The company also assured users that it will still be as transparent and open as possible and will only comply with valid request from an authorized entity. Nevertheless, the website has still faced a fierce wave of criticism coming from its own users who support an open Internet. The Internet is supposed to be the haven of freedom of expression; especially for global phenomenon like Twitter, the underlying philosophy of the website has to be to allow easy access to information and connection to the rest of the world. Yet by abiding to local laws and removing tweets in response to official requests from lawmakers, Twitter has inevitably compromised the freedom of expression of its users to a certain extent. Moreover, by aligning itself with censor, Twitter would deprive Internet users, especially those who are from repressing countries, of a useful access to information. Thus, Twitter is strongly criticized for opposing the movement of anti-censorship and is urged to consider removing its new regulation as soon as possible. However, looking from an economic view, it is an intelligent movement of Twitter to expand its influence across the globe and increase its profitability. Although the term Twitter has been popularity to millions of people, it is still restricted in many large countries due to its philosophy of “freedom of expression”. To many, freedom of speech is secondary to national confidential information and internal stability. Thus, Twitter has a great potential to grow beyond its current stage if it can appease the lawmakers of such repressing countries. Imagine how much more Twitter could earn if it is allowed to enter big market such as China – the most crowded country in the world, by censoring tweets as requested. Therefore, Twitter, being a profitable company, has no reason to restrict its own potential by strictly adhering to the ideal concept of “freedom of expression”. Furthermore, censoring tweets could help the company avoid unfortunate situation caused by tweets that defies the local laws. For example, Twitter has once been sued in Brazil due to profiles that warned of traffic controllers, thereby causing difficulties for the government to prevent driving under influence. Although it’s true that Twitter employees do not participate in tweeting such information, they can be involved in such case as Twitter is used as the tool for laws violation. As a result, it is understandable that the Incorporation must protect its own employees who might be arrested due to improper posts, simply by censoring those posts from countries that do not accept it. It is true that an open and free Internet must be supported at all time in order to let useful information flow freely between users. As such, compromising the freedom of expression is surely discouraged, especially if it is caused by global phenomenon like Twitter. On the other hand, Twitter has its own valid reasons in making such a decision that should be considered before we start allegedly accusing the company. Censor or not censor- it is still an interminable controversial debate between right versus right.

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