Twitter censorship #outrage-MSNBC

February 7, 2012

Twitter censorship #outrage, now in cartoon form!

Helen A.S. Popkin

MSNBC: January 31, 2012




 Twitter’s recent announcement that it will censor specific tweets from some countries resulted in an anti-climatic “boycott” of the microblogging service on Saturday, and more importantly, a cartoon-ified interpretation by those clever kids at Taiwan’s New Media Animation.

Indeed, the same outfit that most recently explained tough times for Nintendo via Mario wearing an “Angry Birds” hat, and memorably, Mark Zuckerberg’s new hobby of killing what he eats, as well as Steve Jobs: Airport Ninja, now breaks down Twitter’s country-by-country censorship plans in crude CGI metaphors we can all understand.

Twitter’s value in fomenting revolution during the Arab Spring is shown as blue birds and protesters running down deposed Egyptian president Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, who’s sporting Pharaoh threads. Meanwhile, the Republic of China — which holds jurisdiction over Taiwan — gets the most screen time.

“Could Twitter foolishly be preparing to enter the most heavily censored Internet market in the world?” read the subtitles, as the cartoon shows someone who sure looks a whole lot like Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei snapping a picture of his own hand making the gesture known as “flipping the bird” to a surveillance camera in China as Twitter bluebirds soar across the sky. (Get it?! Birds!)

But do you really need a literal interpretation of “the most heavily censored Internet market,” when gun-toting pandas outfitted as People’s Liberation Army soldiers shoot at Twitter-style bluebirds breaching the sky? We get the picture. “Many Twitter users, however, are outraged and believe the company is selling out Internet freedom, possibly with an eye for entering the China market, where it is blocked, though it is used by Chinese dissidents to get information to the outside world,” the svideo’s description states for those who need it spelled out. (“If Twitter censors then I’ll stop tweeting,” Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei tweeted after hearing the news.”)


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