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Protest Twitter’s Support For Theocratic Censorship

Today, a coalition led by the Ex-Muslims of North America is organizing a day of protest against what it calls Twitter Theocracy.

Instead of standing up for free speech, Twitter has agreed to censor user accounts that the government of Pakistan regards as blasphemous. Twitter has issued statements that it’s preferable to comply with theocratic demands for censorship, so that its business can continue to expand in theocratic nations.

The Ex-Muslims of North America comment, “There was a time when Twitter was rightly lauded for the role it played during the Arab Spring, facilitating communication between those resisting oppressive governments. In fact, Egypt’s dictators tried to disable Twitter, and then internet access completely, before being overwhelmed by the protests that began at Tahrir Square. Governments in Tunisia and Iran tried similar tactics to suppress protests against those oppressive regimes. Lately, Twitter seems to have moved away from its ethical, pro-human-rights stance, and caved to the demands of oppressive governments. By using its ‘Country Withheld Tool’ to enable government authorities to censor content, Twitter is aiding the enforcement of laws that violate both the UN declaration as well as the secular values of the separation of church/mosque and state.”

Sponsor organizations are asking people who hold Twitter accounts to post statements of protest on the social network, using the #TwitterTheocracy tag – or to retweet the message of others who have already done so. Irregular Times has done so on its Twitter account, and encourages you to do the same… unless you’re comfortable with the idea of the prospect of the U.S. federal government censoring statements that do not comply with its increasingly powerful Civic Religion.

3 comments to Protest Twitter’s Support For Theocratic Censorship

  • Bill

    While they’re at it, I hope they’ll agree to censor Twitter accounts that I regard as stupid. I have a list….

    • pling

      Bill, you are not a representative of a government that mixes church and state, so Twitter won’t give you power of censorship. Twitter only wants the theocrats to have that power. Your role is to accept the sacred censorship and shout Amen!

  • Peregrin Wood

    Good news: Twitter has responded to protests by the netizenry and decided to reverse its decision to help the government of Pakistan censor content that the theocracy there deems to be blasphemous.

    In its statement, however, Twitter leaves room to reverse its decision yet again. Twitter has stated: “We have reexamined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted. The content is now available again in Pakistan.”

    Catch that? If Twitter receives “additional clarifying information” from Pakistan, it will be willing to censor dissent from the theocracy once again. I suspect that “additional clarifying information” is Twitter’s euphemism for political pressure.

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