Twitter’s challenge for 2013: Resisting state demands for censorship


The conventional wisdom in many circles is that Twitter’s biggest challenge lies in figuring out how to monetize its growing user base. And perhaps for the company’s venture-capitalist backers or other startup founders, that is the most important question it has to answer — but it is far from the only one. Recent events involving the French and German governments, and even the British legal system, have highlighted another crucial issue the network will have to struggle with, one that is arguably just as important to its future: namely, can it grow internationally and still maintain its self-professed status as the “free-speech wing of the free-speech party?”

As my GigaOM colleague Bobbie Johnson pointed out in a recent post, the French government has been making some strong — and controversial — statements about what it wants the company to do after an outbreak of homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic comments erupted…

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