Twitter SOPA PIPA ACTA Bridging Censorship of Free Speech

Twitter News

Twitter Censor's First Account | Website blocks German group's account at request of police, pitting censorship concerns against local hate speech laws. Twitter 'deploys' as in a weapon new technology developed in 2012 in order to comply with the request by the German authorities to censor hate speech. Twitter company representative says, "With hundreds of millions of Tweets posted every day around the world, our goal is to respect our users' expression, while also taking into consideration applicable local laws..."

BRAZIL NEWS HEADLINE | Yahoo News reports that Brazil is first country that requests to stop Twitter users from alerting drivers to police roadblocks, radar traps and drunk-driving checkpoints. This will be the first time and the first country to take Twitter up on its plan to censor content at governments' requests. SAO PAULO (AP) —

An excellent associated press video news report may be viewed on Huffington Post and explains how, even though Twitter will announce the censor for each illegal Tweet that has been requested by a country, the beginning of censorship means some one needs to make a judgement upon what may be said freely.

Petition If You Wish To Participate

Twitter to censor tweets petition by Demand Progress. You are asked to sign this open letter.

  • OPEN LETTER TO TWITTER: Twitter's importance as an open platform has been demonstrated time and again this year. We need you to keep fighting for and enabling freedom of expression -- not rationalize away totalitarianism as a legitimate "different idea".

Blocking Twitter and #SocialMedia

Gaming The System | Groups of people utilize the power of social network to game the system, create a setting to create an emotional disturbance that stimulates community action, or simply create awareness. Viral videos, blogs and vlogs demonstrate the power of people to set off a storm of action.

Today's twitter trend around #SocialMedia demonstrates this notion. The Hoot with the logo of an owl staying awake and alert in the dark of night, has an article entitled, "Could the government have been more transparent? How can websites defend themselves against a govt ban?"

India | Clashes between government sponsored and allowed messages versus special interest groups and the populous ended in censorship of online media and blocking of more than 250 sites that manipulated images and videos with the intent to fuel communal tensions between Muslim and the North-Eastern communities.

The presentation of this issue on The Hoot surrounds the concepts of freedom of speech and transparency. Should governments be allowed to censor the social media and networking of individuals, groups, organizations and companies? The potential for a legitimate blocking of incoming and outgoing information may exist. I think of the instance of yelling, "FIRE" in a movie theater just to get everyone to get out of their seats and rush out of the building. This action, under law, can cause harm, a riot, and injury. Instead, even in the event of a real fire, a calm and organized action will be more productive than inciting fear and disorder.

You may vote on the poll concerning Brazil's censorship to tally your opinion about this issue or comment below.

Twitter Censors Hate Crime Laws

Do you agree with Twitter Compliance with Germany's Hate Crime Laws?

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Do you believe Twitter should block tweets from warning drivers about roadblocks, radar traps & drunk driving check points?

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Brazilians Love Twitter

Check Out "Latin American Thought" if you want to learn the statistics on how Brazilians love twitter so much. You will learn who, what, when and where. They have surveyed the population to find out the many demographics of individuals and how often they use twitter, and which factions of the people use Twitter for political means and activism.


Twitter Petition

For what its worth, there is a new petition. Every day something else for us to read, learn and click. I wonder how long this will go on and if we will wear thin and tired from all the actions we must do to preserve our rights?

Political Action

I knew from the start of SOPA and PIPA with all the activity, blogs, speeches, videos and massive Blackouts on websites that one event would not end this dialogue. We have a long way to go as nations vie to repress populations, limit information, suppress free speech as we cross cultural boundaries.

Friends Telling Friends

My friend notified me that our dear and near TWITTER that helped countries vote in new leaders and citizens revolt against despots and they would come under pressure. I never thought they would fold, as I have noted in a previous hub that certain areas of the internet cannot be seen and remain off limits to the mainstream.

Twitter Capability

As an aside, I have personally noticed that Twitter has been having Fail Whale signs again because of over capacity to handle number of tweets or maybe some other technical problem. The programming and features have increased as they integrate many third-party applications and options, like showing and linking images, voice, video, language, activity streams, trends, lists, preferences and advertisements.

Twitter Updates and News

The news announcement, straight from the horse's mouth, oops, that birdie's beak says it all on their blog.

TWITTER BLOG Entry Thursday, January 26, 2012, referencing an important decision made a year practically to the day speaking of 'free expression.'

  • “The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact … 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.”

Ethical Behavior On The Net

Bowing to some sort of pressure, we don't know who has had a one-on-one with the CEO's, but due to the differences in cultural mores and how these countries define "freedom" [can that vary?] they say that 'their' type of freedom cannot peacefully coexist in those other lands.

Giving the widely accepted notion that giving free reign to Nazi speak will not be tolerated in certain European countries, Twitter has been able to limit tweets globally and now will be able to 'selectively' do so. I compare this to blotting out words, phrases or sentences in someone's letters or emails. But, in a way I do understand the type of restrictions they may be facing.

What frightens me with this new found ability concerns the future of free speech on Twitter and what 'red letter' word or phrase will be next on the chopping block? It begins with censoring one word and then goes further.


Huffington Post via Reuters reminded readers the key part that Twitter played for citizen communication during revolts and demonstrations in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries.

Integral to the advancement of freedom and democracy, social networks like Twitter, bring people together, cross cultural and language borders and may create an air of understanding and peace.

There have been troubles over China and keeping the people in the dark, away from global news. One incident traced a Google hack to China and Twitter relocated her search engine in 2010 to Hong Kong.

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Library of Congress A Generation

The Federal Library of Congress begins archiving billions upon billions of public tweets. Make sure you say something that you don't mind being said for eternity and that can be retrieved.

Twitter Spam Trends

I applaud also their vigilance and ability over the past three years that I have been using Twitter to reduce spam and pornography to a trickle. The built in system seems to be working. In a way, these new guidelines may be better or worse, depending upon your point of view. They explain that up until now entire content areas were off-limits to posting as tweets, but now only certain content will be removed from particular countries.

What this means to me if people start to tweet about vendettas, violence, hate crimes and such this may be directed at more people and in areas of the world with free speech and no censors. I wonder what we will see and what we will accept? I, for one, would appreciate that negativity of this sort which incites to violence be removed and not encouraged. Clearly, Twitter will use restrain, transparency and diplomacy based upon this message:

  • "We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why. . . We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld.

In partnership with the Twitter Profile, we are sure to hear more about this news.

News and Resources

  • ZDNET | Poland protested and resisted ACTA
  • EFF | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • CNN | Tech Fortune
  • HuffPost | ACTA Copyright Infringement
  • Dirt Tech |

Diplomacy, International Negotiations and Treaties

As the world turns, we live the national soap opera [SOPA], of who has power and control over people, websites, industries and organizations. Our recent #StopSopa citizen victory via a twitter campaign and Wikipedia closure does not mean to sit on our laurels. No, while the chicken was playing in the henhouse, the fox was sneaking in the back door.

Not one to say, "I told you so," we must continue the fight to keep our airwaves and internet connections free and continue open-source development; while also clamping down on piracy of material goods, and preventing robbery of intellectual information and research, music, artwork and our dear blogs. Sure, groups have realized they must give away a portion of their art as the best way to lure and gain loyal followers, friends and fans.

The Next Battle Act

Well, we haven't won the war, so our next battle front is ACTA. And, we must Act now with as much or more strength and vigor, as when we unified against SOPA and PIPA. But, I encourage you to not just follow the stream or jump off a cliff like a lemming. Rather, investigate, read and learn.

ACT Stands For Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

This international trade agreement goes beyond trading goods and covers also the internet distribution of information technology and thus affects internet activity. Back in October 2007, the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan agreed to enforce rules against stealing intellectual property, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada joining them.

Major Power Players

The monopolies in this game include the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization participating at the G8 summit at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Advisory Committee dealing with Enforcement and the Intellectual Property Experts’ Group at the Asia Pacific Economic Coalition.

It appears that negotiations between countries, where the citizens of all countries do not have full access to written agreements and signed papers, indicates a loss of full disclosure and information that affects nations and populations.

The United States and European countries have been involved in drawing up ACTA concerning their trade relationships. Unless people know what has been decided we are left in the dark, just like Wikipedia shut down its website on January 18, 2012.

The Present Governance

The countries involved with ACTA has determined that The Trade-Related Issues of Intellectual Property designed in 1994 (TRIPS) does not meet the needs and security of quickly developing internet technology. This may be so, but we must review the method by which security may be obtained.

The concern regarding who has power and how Internet Service Providers [ISPs] may tamper with the information and websites at their disposal raises red flags. Plus, those industries developing ACTA want to filter ISPs, while also asking providers to "terminate citizens' Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the "Three Strikes" /Graduated Response)"

If you thought airport scanning and other infringement into your personal information was bad, this may top the cake.

Get Involved | Here Are Petitions

Write to your Congressional Representatives. Give them a piece of your mind!

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About the Author

This blog informs the twitterverse and the global society about recent privacy and censorship issues. Twitter announces news about limiting and restricting certain tweets. Sopa and Pipa temporarily in a holding or revision stage, while ACTA acts up.

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Debby Bruck, CHOM loves to write about various topics on Hubpages. She advocates for freedom of choice in health care and in the political environment. Debby is the founder of Homeopathy World Community a social network of professional homeopaths enlightening the world to the healing powers of energy medicines. She hosts numerous radio shows each week on a variety of health topics. Debby believes that homeopathy is the wave of the future that provides hope and healing to those who have tried every other approach. Follow Debby on Twitter. Check out "Inane Dumb Decisions"

State Of The Union 2012

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Comments 25 comments

Vellur profile image

Vellur 5 years ago from Dubai

Great hub. Voted up.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Dear Vellur. Thank you for your vote.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hello Dear Wolfgang ~ As I wrote in this article, I believe there exists a very fine line to what we consider acceptable behavior and language and what should naturally be censored. As a citizen of Germany, you will be one of those affected by the limitations in tweets. Why? Because Germany has specific laws against propagating the spread of hate crimes and Nazi mindset. I agree, we should not give a voice to those who insight hate and violence against our fellow humankind.

I have written extensively against the spread of spam, pornography (belittling women and young girls), identity and property theft, and the negative dark in our world.

Thus, to censor tweets CAN be a good thing. The problem I have concerns the very fine line in what we accept in the name of free speech and what we say has crossed that line, and finally who controls these communications. If at all possible to have flexible regulations modulated by persons of good judgment, then we absolutely need structure and rules to govern and create peace among nations.

Once again, I want to thank you for posting the link of this Hubpages onto your blog and onto your FaceBook page. It is always a joy to see your visits here. Blessings, Debby

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

Great hub, thanks for the info. BTW in your first paragraph the word "thin" is misspelled as "thing"

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hi Sherry ~ Thanks for catching that typo. It was into the wee hours of the morning when I wrote this and must have been tired. Blessings, Debby

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub, Debbie. I learn many things from you about twitter. Thanks for share with us. Rated up and take care!


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Welcome to my hub, Prasetio. Always glad to lend a hand. Take care, Debby

Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Hi Debby ~ As I'm sure you've realized by now, I take great offense to those who would steal my constitutional and personal freedoms. And since I've never been one to just gripe and complain without action, I've made a point to post this on my FB page as well as sending out a few emails to close friends with a link included. Great Hub! Voted up and useful

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Dear Terri ~ I am one of your greatest fans on Hubpages, even though I have only just read a few of your articles. However, your knowledge and passion for the betterment of humanity, our environment and our children. Let's keep in touch. Love, Debby

zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Hello Debby, what a wonderful hub. I bet you were tired as all get out after this one! LOL. I am thankful that so far we still have free speech. I really enjoy HubPages. For me it is a wonderful outlet for free speech and expressing ourselves.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hello Ron ~ absolutely yes. I was in a state of exhaustion to write this at the outset of the news. And now time for rest again before another big day. I have STARTED a number of hubs, but they are not in finished form. Only problem, I have lots of work to do tomorrow, so Hubbing is delayed.

Blessings to you, Debby

alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

How comprehensively you lay out all the issues. I will post a separate letter to Twitter. Voting this Up and Useful.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hello Dear Alocsin. How does one post a letter to Twitter? Please let me in on this secret. Blessings, Debby

iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 5 years ago from Austin, TX

Great commentary!

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Chaz ~ Appreciate the read and comment on this important rights issue. Blessings, Debby

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Thanks very much for the Twitter petition!!!

Facts are that police are nothing but corporate thugs in most cases....laws are not based in morality, they are based in business interests and revenues.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hello Wes ~ The world is changing all around us. If we want it to change we must be an active participant. Blessings to all your good works. Debby

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

....and it's changing awfully fast too! If nothing else, it's an interesting time to be alive!

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago Author

Hello dear Wes ~ All of life seems to be quickening as we humans push the limits and test the boundaries of what our world can accommodate. Unfortunately, I do not think we have made healthy choices in many instances. Thus, we see the structural destruction all around us. Debby

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I think the biggest problem is that there are just too many of us. Whenever a person values his own ego over his role in the whole of the world, it creates problems - and we've about seven billion egos that don't much care for their responsibilities to the whole right now.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago Author

I do not think population is a problem. The world was created to accommodate all of us. However, you hit upon a core value -- that of caring for others, learning to share, giving wholeheartedly, and putting the principles of environmental sustainability into practice. Thus, we have the technology and ability to create abundance energetically to care for the material wealth. On the other hand, we also need to teach, learn and apply ethical moral choices that would benefit both the whole and individuals. All a huge request and desire for bettering the world and humanity. I guess having righteous leaders that excel at every level from local to international would be the spark to initiate these activities. Blessings, Debby

zzron profile image

zzron 4 years ago from Houston, TX.

Hi Debby, this is a very interesting topic. This reminds me a lot of my truck driving job. As you know, mostly all truck drivers use CB radios. Truck drivers are always telling each other where the cops are. That's not against the law and it would be very hard to monitor that.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago Author

Hey Ron ~ breaker/breaker 1,2,3 ~ I remember the days back when we were young and we had the CB in our cars and used to listen in to hear what was going on the roads and byways. Loved to watch the 'caravans' and yes, we did looks out for the cops. So, what's your opinion here? I think back then it was used for the truckers to get to their destination quickly.

However, in Brazil the checkpoints have been set up for getting the drunk drivers, druggies and zoned out people off the roads so no one would get killed or injured.

I see both points of view and really waver on this issue. I would love to hear the opinions of some legal advisers, judges and people who have experienced all sides of actually being on the streets there.

What changes have they seen since instituting the check points? You know we now have laws that make it illegal to 'flash' your lights to warn an on-coming car that a police car is nearby.

Many of the Brazilians have been apologizing for their government's request. They say that the Tweets actually slow down the drivers and assist the purpose of getting people to drive more responsibly. I'm still now sure.

Thanks for chiming in with your driving experience.

zzron profile image

zzron 4 years ago from Houston, TX.

I'm all for getting the bad guys. I voted not sure on your poll. I don't think the government should have too much control over the people just some to create order.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago Author

Hello Ron - Surprisingly, you were the first to vote on the Brazil Twitter poll. Because the up and down sides to this controversial issue can set a precedent for future actions and decisions, this makes it very difficult to make the FIRST decision with conviction. Thanks for your vote.

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