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Twitter Agrees to Allow Vladimir Putin to Censor Russian Content

March 30, 2013 | Filed Under Communism, Computers, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Free Speech, Freedom, Inernet, Liberals, Liberty, Progressives, Regulation, Rights, Russia, Socialism, Technology, The Law, Twitter, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


Twitter Agrees to Allow Vladimir Putin to Censor Russian Content

-By Warner Todd Huston

Twitter has bowed to pressure from Russian Czar Vladimir Putin to block all content blacklisted by Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Telecommunications, Information Technology and Mass Communications.

Putin’s government reports that since early March, Twitter has “actively been engaged in cooperation” with Russian authorities already. Twitter has already deleted pinpointed accounts and is restricting access on the basis of “five information materials” as determined by Russian authorities.

In a statement from the Kremlin, Twitter’s cooperation with the massive censorship policy was praised.

Negotiations on cooperation with the largest international Internet social platform as part of maintaining the register of information whose dissemination is banned in Russia had been held since the moment the first entries appeared in the register with references to those tweets. The administration of Twitter had had no practice of interaction with foreign governmental bodies on the removal or restriction of illegal content, and this made the negotiations difficult. The constructive position of the administration of the resource made it possible to formulate a mutually acceptable interaction algorithm that makes it possible to have information from the register processed within periods acceptable to the Russian side.

Calling it “under-the-radar appeasement,” Kim Zigfeld reports that Twitter has touted its efforts to work with foreign governments to allow them to censor Twitter’s content.

Also, in June of 2010, Twitter posted some a gushing account of a visit to its world headquarters by Russia’s President, Dimiti Medvedev.

Twitter isn’t the only Internet site being censored by the Russian government. The Russian telecom agency has blacklisted over 600 Russian websites claiming that they are “harmful to children.” Banned sites include a digital library of books and wiki pages.

This new round of Internet censorship comes only a few years after Twitter was hailed for its democratizing effects and given credit for many instances of popular revolt against tyrannical governments in the Mid East.
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“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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