Less than two weeks after Twitter announced that it would censor tweets in specific countries, while leaving them viewable to everyone else, it has received a notice that it is being sued by Brazil for updates by a resident revealing DUI checkpoints.
Twitter stated in late January it would “give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world” — in order to continue its growth on the international scale:
[...] we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content.
Now, Gizmodo reports that we may be seeing the first “domino to fall” on Twitter’s new policy. According to Gizmodo, the most notable of the Twitter accounts under fire by the Brazilian government is @LeiSecaRJ, which informs its nearly 300,000 followers of the location of DUI and radar checkpoints so drivers can avoid them.
@LeiSecaRJ describes their Twitter feed as providing “Real-time information on traffic problems at the RJ, which both hinder and hurt our constitutional right to come and go.”
BBC reports that a similar account with fewer followers, @RadarBlizGo, has announced it will stop its updates until the case is over.
Gizmodo states that Twitter, which has not yet responded to the lawsuit, is being sued for $290,000 per day that the posts on the accounts remain live.