Freedombone Blog / The censorship problem
Poster about twitter censoring farmers protests in India, which included the largest strike in history

However reluctantly, Twitter is trying to clean up its act. Or at least improve its public relations. Governments may ride upon the wave of enthusiasm for removing the carnival of grotesqueness from that site. You can appeal to government departments, or inscrutable Twitter moderators, for transparency and lenience, but I don't think that approach is going to work, or even be useful as a general mode of governance. Those of us who are older know that transparency doesn't automatically lead to justice.

Ultimately, people have to govern their own communities and so in the longer term I doubt that Twitter and other web 2.0 silo sites whose mantra was "everyone in my database" will be able to retain their current monolithic architecture. Governance and accountability is something they're going to need to begin thinking about - even though they don't want to - and it's going to directly conflict with their business model. In a system which is more decentralized with more local governance targeted advertising is not going to work as well, and there will be higher operating costs.

So in the short term I think sites like Twitter will continue to struggle, and legitimate protesters like the farmers in India will continue to get censored merely because they're inconvenient to their government and Twitter is eager to placate government dictats. In the longer term I think things will become more decentralized, purely out of necessity, and there won't be one company setting a moderation policy for the whole world. In the far future the web 2.0 business model of the mid 2000s will be regarded as laughably naive.

But the far future is far off, and we ought to be thinking about what we can do now to begin building a better internet, free from despots, fascist thugs and troll armies.