As just about everyone reading this likely saw, Twitter was down for a bit today. The maintenance was planned, and was actually postponed from yesterday to allow for the protests flowing over Twitter about the Iranian elections to continue. The downtime today actually took about half as long as expected, and “significantly increased” the service’s network capacity, co-founder Biz Stone writes today.
Stone goes on to give a verbal pat on the back all those involved. But the interesting part of this post comes towards the end, when Stone writes, “However, it’s important to note that the State Department does not have access to our decision making process.”
He mentions this because it’s being reported that the U.S. government asked Twitter to reschedule its downtime to allow the tweets about Iran to keep coming through in the daytime hours there. You’ll notice he doesn’t exactly deny that the government asked for this, or that Twitter complied. And in fact, he links to a story that confirms the State Department did speak to Twitter. Instead, Stone seems to simply be stating that as a general rule, Twitter will not be influenced by government requests — something that is always a touchy subject when it comes to startups that control some of your data.
Stone concludes with, “Nevertheless, we can both agree that the open exchange of information is a positive force in the world.”