Twitter CEO: We Will Protect User’s Voice

Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit San Francisco, Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, spoke about the importance of protecting the social network’s users’ ability to speak freely.

“We are the free speech wing of the free speech party,” Costolo said. “One of our core values is respect and the need to defend the user’s voice.”


Dick Costolo looks to protect Tweeters. (Photo: Reuters)

Costolo specifically mentioned the UK riots when there was some talk among government officials, the intelligence agency and the police about the possibility of temporarily shutting down the digital network while the riots raged on. Costolo did not engage in conversations with government officials about shutting Twitter down, but rather countered with the face that the majority of tweets during that time were about organizing clean-up efforts and not adding fuel to the fire.

With the recent case where the US government ordered Twitter to disclose information about four accounts linked with Wikileaks affair, Costolo said these issues were difficult to handle and ‘troubling’ because one of the conditions from the government is that the request remains a secret.

“We went back of our own accord and argued for the right to let those four people know that their information was being requested so that they could fight it,” he explained. “We provided these users with the ability to fight this request and I think a bunch of them are still doing so…That’s how we will behave in those cases where we can.”

Twitter will attempt to warn users about any Government requests for information so they can fight the order.

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