First Ever Tweet

Written by Michael Sutherland, Web Services Librarian

This March we have not only seen the 25th Anniversary of the World Wide Web, but also eight years ago today on March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, posted the first ever tweet. “just setting up my twttr,” read the tweet from @jack.  It has been eight years and billions of tweets since that first seemingly insignificant tweet.  Twitter, along with other social networking applications, has come to play a major role in many communities throughout the world, ultimately playing an important role during modern-day activism, specifically as it pertains to the Arab Spring.

Today, news regarding Twitter is concerning as it pertains to free speech and intellectual freedom.  According to the news, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to eradicate Twitter and the country blocked access hours later.  This begs many questions, specifically, should the World Wide Web and social networking be free and open to everyone or is it, in some cases, permissible for countries to block access?  How does this impact freedom of speech and intellectual freedom? Does everyone in the world have the right to think and express their ideas as they choose?

The Turkish Government passed a controversial new internet law last month that allows the country’s telecommunications authority to order content removed within hours without a court order.  They claim that Twitter does not comply with the new law, meant to protect children and the privacy of individuals, and therefore, blocked access.

What do you think? Do you use twitter?

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