nettime's avid reader on Sun, 5 Dec 2010 12:00:15 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Twitter fails to jump to Dept of State's defence

Twitter fails to jump to Dept of State=E2=80=99s defence=20

December 5, 2010 2:06am
by Richard Waters

That  famous love-in between Hillary Clinton=E2=80=99s state department and=
world=E2=80=99s favourite micro-blogging service must be wearing a bit thin=

As other internet services have acted to  cut Wikileaks off over its=20
massive dump of US diplomatic cables, Twitter=E2=80=99s willingness to carr=
y the=20
renegade site=E2=80=99s messages has become increasingly noteworthy.
In fact, as it becomes harder to find Wikileaks domains that are still=20
accessible, Twitter has become the most reliable platform for it to get its=
message out to the world.

This defiant tweet on Saturday afternoon, tapping the Twitter search=20
service, said it all:
WikiLeaks strikes back. Cut us down and the stronger we become: =20

=E2=80=9CIt=E2=80=99s remarkable that Twitter hasn=E2=80=99t done anything =
to thwart their=20
messages,=E2=80=9D says Evgeny Morozov, an expert on the struggle between=20
repressive governments and dissidents for control of the internet.
It would be easy enough for Twitter to find an excuse to act - after all,=20
everyone else seems to have done so. PayPal, justifying its decision to=20
block payments to Wikileaks, quoted its terms of service, which say that it=
=E2=80=9Ccannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote facilita=
te or=20
instruct others to engage in illegal activity.=E2=80=9D=20

That sounds very similar to Twitter=E2=80=99s own terms of service: "You ma=
y not=20
use our service for any unlawful purposes or for promotion of illegal=20

As Wikileaks becomes increasingly isolated on the Web, Twitter=E2=80=99s re=
will become increasingly significant.

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