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Twitter Develops Fine-Toothed Censorship Tool


Twitter has refined its ability to block posts from appearing (read: censor) in user streams on a country by country basis.

As explained on the Twitter blog:

As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.

Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.

We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld. As part of that transparency, we’ve expanded our partnership with Chilling Effects to share this new page,, which makes it easier to find notices related to Twitter.

“In the face of a valid and applicable legal order,” a Twitter spokeswoman tells TechPresident’s Nick Judd, “the choice facing services is between global removal of content with no notice to the user, or a transparent, targeted approach where the content is removed only in the country in question.”


Online Twitter Visualizer Spot and the Search Term ‘wtf wikipedia’

Spot is a simple browser-based Twitter visualizer that can group ‘particles’ on a particular keyword.

With the entry ‘wtf wikipedia’, you can see a collection of tweets featuring teenagers complaining of Wikipedia’s black-out due to their homework needs …

More about Spot here
To see a collection of misguided tweets related to Wikipedia and homework can be seen here.

Stowe Boyd: Twitter Activity Streams: Surfacing Social Gestures Like Tumblr


Twitter is preparing to roll out a fairly significant rethinking of the user experience for the microstreaming service. They are planning to bring the social gestures that users make out in the open. These gestures are the actions of following people, favoriting tweets, retweets, or adding people…


Generative Avatar Portraits by Kent Brewster

Enter your twitter ID and watch your avatar appear with generative circles

Some generative Canvas magic, with a little help from the Twitter API and YQL’s instant-data-URI converter. To try it out, enter your Twitter nickname down there where you see mine, which is kentbrew.

What’s Going On Here?

We’re calling the Twitter API from Yahoo! Query Language, receiving an image URL for your avatar, converting it to a data:uri, and returning its base64-encoded value as JSON with a callback.

Then we create an image on the client, load it with the data YQL gave us, and stretch it to fit our (comparatively very large) canvas tag.

Since we’ve created the image locally, the usual canvas security restrictions don’t apply and we’re free to sample pixels. We do this, collecting color values and positions, and then we start drawing circles with random sizes and tiny random offsets from where each color sample was taken.

We let this run for about 20 seconds; this is long enough to develop most of what you’re going to get, while leaving some of the interesting batik/pastel texture intact.

Try it out here

Trickster Topia: Les Fabriques de l'Etrange: performance, transmedia et crowdsourcing


Foolish People est une association de créatifs spécialisés dans la production de performances théâtrales “sans scène” ou immersives. Aujourd’hui, à l’occasion du projet “Strange Factories, ils ambitionnent de s’ériger en producteur culturel global. A la fois film, représentation théâtrale et…

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