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Twitter, Reddit and the battle over freedom of speech…

First Reddit and now Twitter have had to confront issues related to freedom of speech recently, and decide which way they are going to go when it comes to protecting it. As social media becomes more mainstream, such battles will likely become more frequent.


Where should freedom of speech begin and end when you are a web-based entity with a global audience? That’s the question raised by a couple of recent events, including the furor over a Reddit moderator’s creepy behavior, and now the news that Twitter has blocked an account for the first time at the request of a state government — in this case Germany, which asked the service to take action against a Twitter user posting neo-Nazi sentiments, something that is forbidden by the laws of that country. As the web and social tools become more mainstream, these kinds of battles over the limits that should apply to free speech are only going to become more frequent, but the solution to them remains elusive at best.

In the case of Reddit, a moderator known as Violentacrez created a series of offensive and quasi-legal threads or sub-Reddits within the site devoted…

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