In what can only be called convenient timing [is there an election on or something?] it has come out that the Australian Govt is in fact censoring tweets from being seen within our country that may be seen as Anti Labor – Green. Twitter confirmed that this feature is now happening on their site with the following now being part of their terms and conditions since January.
Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it up in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.
This was all bought to light by Polliter.com a website about Australian Politics that is based in the US. Particular tweets about the government, Julia Gillard and political parties have been able to be seen by overseas followers of people on twitter but nobody based in Australia is able to view them as they have been getting mysteriously with held from the Aussie followers of people.
Now I am not anti Labor by any means, in fact I have no idea who I should be voting for at the next election because at the moment everyone in federal politics seem pretty stupid, but censoring our free speech in country to skew things purely for political benefit seems very much like something out of Animal Farm to me. To be quite frank if you don’t like what people are saying about you, then obviously you are doing something people are not liking, how about using the feedback to fix yourself.
Technically if the Australian Govt really wanted to use this censorship power to do something productive, they could stop people seeing nasty cyber bullies using phrases that are driving youth to commit self harm [you know, how about using it to save lives and shit], but clearly this is about controlling the narrative for their personal gain and is all a little bit too nanny state for my liking.
So folks from now on any trash talk or critical thoughts around AusPol and Labor are officially a waste of 140 characters, nobody is gonna see that stuff anyway.