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Freedom and Sensitivity: Possible Twitter Troubles Ahead

Freedom and Sensitivity: Possible Twitter Troubles Ahead

Twitter has long since been an outlet through which persons can express their thoughts in a free and open manner. This is not withstanding their geographical location to go from being highly volatile or one nestled in freedom. So when a highly offensive topic becomes popular because it’s offensive what should Twitter do? The trending topic in question was #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend.

The hashtag stirred up a love/hate relationship for many Twitter users. The hashtag features suggestions for violence in a domestic relationship. The topic became popular not because persons were adding suggestions but because they were upset about it. Many users openly condemned the hashtag saying “this is ridiculous! How about reasons to go to jail?” Many users offered suggestions to Twitter on how to manage future cases like this through petitions against domestic violence.

Many corporate bodies emailed Twitter asking them to remove the offensive tweet. Arguably many persons believed that the individual and its contributor’s accounts should have been blocked for inciting domestic violence. On the other hand while some of these contributors might not be necessarily violent persons but just individuals who thought if funny to contribute to the topic trending. One cannot help but think that such acts contribute to the promotion of domestic violence in our current culture.

The above incident brings the question to mind as to whether or not social media sites should censor the content posted by users. Should Twitter censor offensive content? A number of questions also exist about: what exactly is offensive and to whom? Do social media sites have an obligation to protect the interest of their users? Should offensive content be pulled? All these questions point to the issue of freedom of expression.

In Twitter’s case many persons demanded the censoring of such information and even offered suggestions as to how it should be control. Twitter, amidst widespread protests never removed the hashtag, rather the trending topic died in a matter of 24 hours according to Trendistic.

Oddly, there were no Twitter rules broken by the trending topic as there are no rules which speak to censoring information. Twitter has denied in the past ever censoring and information which was posted on its site. Offensive trends will continue to exist as long as there is medium through which to communicate them. In fact, last month’s offensive topic was #RapistSongs. Like it or not judgment calls are up to Twitter.

Aaris Internet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Provides SEO, PPC Management and Social Media Marketing Services. Aaris extends insightful inputs into virtually every area of SEO services, with special expertise in web content and its audit, SEO consulting and training. Sound SEO processes and practices enable Aaris to bring out the best in your site, and also to feature you prominently at all places and times.

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