Twitter clarifies own censorship policy

Follows closure of the social networking site, and the internet, in Egypt

The shutting down of Twitter and the internet in Egypt has prompted the social networking site to issue a statement on the company's own regulation of communication on the internet.

In the post, Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, and the company’s general counsel, Alexander Macgillivray, wrote that the open exchange of information could have a positive global impact.

“We don't always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content, the post reads. “From an ethical perspective, almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right.

“Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits. At Twitter, we have identified our own responsibilities and limits.”

The pair wrote that the company’s position on freedom of expression carried with it a mandate to protect its users' right to speak freely and preserve their ability to contest having their private information revealed.

“While we may need to release information as required by law, we try to notify Twitter users before handing over their information whenever we can so they have a fair chance to fight the request if they so choose,” the post reads.

The post follows the blocking of Twitter in Egypt last Tuesday as the country witnessed a large protest against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

Some 88 per cent of Egypt’s internet was cut late last week in response to the civil unrest in the country as protesters continued to clash with police in anti-government demonstrations.

Locally, telco experts have argued that, while it is unlikely, Australia’s internet could be switched off in just minutes following a government directive.

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Tags twittersocial networkingEgyptinternet kill switch

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