When it comes to free speech, Twitter is caught between a rock and a very hard place

Gigaom

Twitter has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to become what CEO Dick Costolo has called “a global town square,” and with 200 million users in dozens of different countries it has come pretty close to achieving that goal. But what happens when the town square is filled with sexual abuse or death threats or other bad behavior? That’s the conflict the company finds itself in right now, as it tries to battle a firestorm of criticism over its lack of action in cases like those of British journalist Caroline Criado-Perez.

As we explained in a recent post, Criado-Perez was subjected to what she says were hundreds of abusive and violent messages — many threatening rape and some even worse — in a matter of hours earlier this week, in what appeared to be a co-ordinated attack that lasted for several days. The abuse was apparently directed at…

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