Microblogging platform Twitter has indicated that it will notify users whenever their tweets are blocked and withheld in order to comply with court orders or local laws. Currently users can access information on Country Withheld Content via notices which are sent directly to the accounts affected by the action as well as through Twitter’s biannual transparency report and Lumen. With the new features users will get information the moment the try to get access to accounts or tweets that have been blocked.
An example of Country Withheld Content includes Nazi symbols which are prohibited in Germany. When users try to access Country Withheld Content they will see a message informing them of the action that has been taken and the reason behind it, be it to comply with court orders or to comply with local policy or laws.
“The more that we can share about our actions, the better the public can understand the various challenges, legal or otherwise, that we face and how we handle them,” said the worldwide legal policy director for Twitter, Jeremy Kessel.
In its most recent transparency report the microblogging platform indicated that in the first half of this year, the removal requests it had received were just about the same number as it had received in the second half of 2016. During that period there were removal requests from a total of 46 countries. Around 90% of these requests were from four European countries namely Turkey, Russia, Germany and France. Turkey had the highest number of removal requests accounting for over 45% of the global total.
The microblogging platform also disclosed that eight legal requests were received asking Twitter to get rid of content posted by verified media outlets or journalists though no action was taken. In some cases the microblogging platform filed legal objections after receiving court orders in Turkey.
The notifications Twitter has introduced with regards to Country Withheld Country comes in the wake of the social networking firm partnering with Bloomberg to offer a round-the-clock news service known as ‘TicToc by Bloomberg’ which will mainly cover business news. The news service has already attracted sponsors that include derivatives marketplace company Chicago Mercantile Exchange and telecommunications giant AT&T.