Censored Twitter? No Worries, There’s A WorkaroundBy: Zach Walton - January 27, 2012
Are you worried about Twitter’s news that they are going to begin censoring tweets in certain countries? Worry not as there is an easy workaround.
Twitter posted a handy FAQ about their new “country withheld content” guidelines. In it, it lays out what the format of censored tweets and accounts will look like. The policy seems to affect countries that have rules about offensive content like the example of pro-Nazi tweets in Germany. Even in those cases, Twitter will inform users that the tweet has been censored instead of removing it with no explanation.
The final part of the FAQ is where things get interesting. In the section titled, “How do you know where I am? What is Twitter has misidentified my country?,” they say that your IP address is what determines your country. You can, however, change your country if Twitter gets it wrong.
The Next Web is reporting that changing the country in your account settings to a “free” country like the U.S. or U.K. will bypass the censorship tool. Users were able to select worldwide to bypass the the censoring, but it reverts back to your IP selected country when chosen now.
As you can see here, I have changed my country to the U.K. and Twitter does not change my country back to the U.S. even though it did when I tried changing it to Worldwide.
It remains to be seen if Twitter will change this loophole. The Next Web speculates that Twitter is well aware of this loophole, but is letting it slide to allow Twitter to remain the tool of change in many countries where it was used in revolutions last year.