Wednesday, August 10, 2011

UK: Twitter refuses to close accounts of rioters to protect their 'freedom of expression'

Twitter has refused to close the accounts of London rioters who used the service to spread unrest and insisted that Tweets must 'continue to flow'.

The US-based company said that 'freedom of expression' was essential and that information would be 'kept flowing'.

Social networks have faced criticism for allowing rioters and looters to incite violence and public disorder across the country since riots began last Saturday in Tottenham.

Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger were used by rioters and police have signaled that they will trawl people's accounts to find offenders.

But Twitter refused to take their own action against offenders. A spokesman told the Telegraph that a blog post on the issue earlier this year was still relevant.

'Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them. For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential,' it says.

'Some tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. 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.' (more)