Twitter to lose its reputation as a free speech platform?

Twitter is in a Catch 22 situation; it is stuck between local country laws and the freedom of speech of the Internet users and has opened its doors to censorship.

To abide with the law of the land in different countries, the microblogging site has decided it MAY ‘reactively withhold’ offensive tweets on a country-by-country basis. Well, so much for being the free-speech platform that it was all this time!  Twitter has even cited reference of ‘pro-Nazi’ contents for users in Germany and France, to substantiate its move in its blog.

In a world comprised of different people with different ideas, this move from Twitter has been welcomed by few though the large chunk of Twiterati is wary and complaining. 

About ‘country-wise’ tweet removals, the social networking service provider has not acted on anything ‘offensive’ yet, though has assured that it will intimate the user whenever it does the same and do so in a transparent manner. As for the removed contents (of country-specific users) – it will be available for ALL other users in different countries.

With Facebook and other social networking sites expanding and incorporating new applications, Twitter it seems is trying hard to spread its wings into new regions of the world. After the China debacle when it got blocked there, Twitter is cautious about its market moves.

So, is Twitter losing its reputation for free speech while wooing countries like China back into its fold? What do you think?