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					17 June 2009

By: Lucian Parfeni, Web News Editor

Twitter Denies Being Influenced by the State Department
After reports that the government has asked it to postpone a scheduled maintenance
As reported yesterday, Twitter delayed a scheduled maintenance downtime to keep its service available to those protesters in Iran who have used the micro-blogging site to stay informed about the aftermath of the elections held this Friday. The maintenance was undertaken as planned earlier today and in fact took about half the time it was originally supposed to. "When we worked with our network provider yesterday to reschedule this planned maintenance, we did so because events in Iran were tied directly to the growing significance of Twitter as an important communication and information network. Although presumed impossible if not extremely difficult, we decided together to move the date. It made sense for Twitter and for NTT America to keep services active during this highly visible global event," said Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder and de-facto public voice, in a post on the Twitter blog. However, it seems that Twitter didn't make the decision totally independently as, since the first announcement of the delay, new reports have come in from a variety of sources claiming that the US State Department had actually asked Twitter to postpone the outage in order to help those in Iran. Twitter co-founder has also replied to those reports, though somewhat vaguely, neither denying nor confirming the State Department's request. "However, it's important to note that the State Department does not have access to our decision making process. Nevertheless, we can both agree that the open exchange of information is a positive force in the world," Twitter's co-founder said. The US has no diplomatic relations with Iran and isn't getting involved officially but it seems that it is doing what it can to help the Iranian protesters, for example working with social networking services to ensure that Iranian citizens have access to information. It is important to note that Stone says that they were not influenced by the State Department; however, he doesn't deny that the government has contacted Twitter in this matter. As protests are still underway in Iran we are sure to have more reports of Twitter and other social network's importance, though for the time being how useful they are in Iran is very debatable.

Twitter has denied being influenced by the US State Department. Twitter

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