I just read this and felt that I had to say something, lest it pass unnoticed.
Even though I’ve already tweeted it, posted it as a status update to Facebook and Linkedin, I still can’t believe it.
Apparently, Twitter has gone ahead and implemented a filter that will prevent ‘charged’ tweets from being delivered to or seen by users in certain geographic locations where the content of the tweet would be deemed objectionable.
Despite the Congressional retreat from SOPA and PIPA, and the general consensus in the digital community that the proposed bills would stifle the free exchange of ideas over the internet, Twitter has taken a step that will likely draw vocal criticism in the days to come.
In a statement
to reported by the Inquirer, Twitter offered, “Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country – while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”
The reality of the proposed filter is that it won’t work. Period.
What it will likely do, is simply remove literally thousands of tweets from the Twitter stream, regardless of whether
the that content is actually offensive.
As Mark Gibbs noted in his article in the Forbes blog (where I first read the story), “if the algorithm Twitter uses registers a false positive [or determines that content is offensive when it isn’t] and the tweet has any time sensitivity to it then that attribute will be completely nullified by the time the tweet makes it out of tweet-jail if it ever does.”
What makes Twitter…well Twitter, is the fact that information moves instantaneously, and users are able to tune in to content (and the ramifications/implications of that content) in real time.
Now Twitter is just another trick of big business.
Let’s all hold up our bottles and pour a lil’ out for our dead homie, Twitter.