Thailand Is First Government To Welcome Twitter’s New Censorship Policy

Thailand applauded Twitter’s new stance on censorship, which will give governments the right to ask the network to remove certain tweets.

The new policy – decried by free speech advocate as censorship and defended by pragmatists as a necessary part of international business operations – would see certain tweets and/or accounts withheld from citizens of an entire country, but remain visible to the rest of the global network.

Twitter assured users that it would “communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why,” but that it would still have to withhold content at a government’s request if that content breaks local laws.

Responding to this policy, Thailand is the first government to openly embrace the granular approach Twitter will be taking to censoring content.

As the Associated Press reports, Thailand’s Technology minister Anudith Nakornthap spoke on Monday about the new policy, calling it a “constructive” development.

He went on to say that it was a good thing Twitter “…felt responsible to cooperate with governments to make sure basic rights are not violated through the use of social media.”

As the AP notes, Thailand has blocked 1,156 websites that criticize the ruling monarchy since December.

The US State Department has also briefly commented on Twitter’s new policy, only saying that Twitter’s transparency was a positive move but not condoning the new policy itself.