Twitter is prepared to begin censoring tweets in some countries in the hopes of growing its user base.
As Twitter looks to grow from 100 million active users to 1 billion, the company needs to expand into new nations, some of which have laws contrary to the American value of freedom of expression, reported The Washington Times.
A violation of laws in a nation where Twitter has employees could result in the arrest of those employees. The company, in response, developed its technology to allow for the deletion of tweets on a country by country basis.
Twitter views the development as a way to get more information to more people. Others may worry the move is demonstrative of a greater commitment to making money than to free speech.
Twitter says it will post a censorship notice when a tweet is removed.
“Like Google, Twitter also plans to the share the removal requests it receives from governments, companies and individuals at the chillingeffects.org website,” The Washington Times wrote. The similarity of two company’s policies likely results from the presence of Alexander Macgillivray on Twitter’s general counsel. Macgillivray previously helped Google create its censorship policies.
Previously, if a tweet was deleted, it could no longer be seen anywhere.
As of Thursday, Twitter said it hadn’t yet removed any tweets from an individual country.