Twitter vows to protect users
A year after opening its London offices, the social networking site Twitter has announced that it intends to work more closely with the British government and policy-makers to protect its 10million British users.
Twitter now has 140million users worldwide, with Britain being the fourth largest community of Twitter users globally. 80% of Britons access the site through their mobile phones, against only 55% globally.
The social networking site has spent a lot of time in the headlines this year, after it was accused of aiding rioters around the UK and outing celebrities whose names were supposed to be protected by super-injunctions.
During the riots last summer, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger were cited as tools used by rioters to arrange meeting points, and it was suggested that police be given the powers to shut down social media sites during times of national unrest.
Ryan Giggs was identified in tweets as the man at the centre of a court case supposedly covered by a super-injunction. Giggs was later named in parliament, but not until 75,000 Twitter users had named him online.
Now the site’s UK general manager, Tony Wang, has announced that Twitter’s users need protecting and defending. He said that the company will work with numerous legal bodies to safeguard the site and explained of tweeters: “”There are a number of different needs that they have – and there’s a lot of very unique ways that they’re using Twitter.”
Attorney General Dominic Grieve warned last week that users of the site need to remember that their messages are not as anonymous as they think, and certainly does not place them beyond the law. He said: “The idea that you have immunity because you’re an anonymous tweeter is a big mistake.”