In a direct rebuke to the British Government, which had called for the suspension of social media services and the unmasking of criminal users during the height of this summer’s riots, Twitters chief executive Dick Costolo has pledged never to suspend his service or compromise users security.
Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco Costolo said: “One of our core values is respect and the need to defend the user’s voice. In the case of the London riots…the majority of the tweets were more about organising cleans ups.”
Home Secretary Theresa May called a summit of social media representatives from Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry in August, with a view to agreeing terms for the shut-down of services used to organise unrest – although this approach was subsequently abandoned.
Costolo has called government orders for information on its users “troubling” and has pledged to warn any users subject to such orders so that they can be fought. At present they are supposed to remain secret.