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Twitter Inc (TWTR) CEO Goofs on Iranian President Over Censorship

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo is proving to be adept at using the service for which he is the head. He brilliantly sloughed off the controversy over Peter Thiel’s pot smoking allegations in a tweet a little over a week ago, and now he’s expertly confronted Iran’s president over that country’s censorship, as reported by Time.


“@HassanRouhani Mr. President, enjoying your Tweets from the UN. We would love the Iranian people to enjoy them as well. When will that be?” Costolo said.

The tweet was in response to a tweet from Rouhani  from the UN meetings, where he touted the positive impact negotiation and respect can have, rather than sanctions. It followed eight days after his tweet about working his way through a giant bag of Doritos in response to the controversy raised over Thiel’s comments to CNBC that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was poorly run and the management probably stoned much of the time.

While it’s all fun and games on the surface, censorship is a major blow for Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR)’s global business, not only in Iran, but especially in China, the world’s biggest market. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has also been temporarily blocked or censored in various ways in other countries as well, including Turkey, Venezuela, and Egypt.

On Saturday, Costolo tweeted that he had just had a good call with the foreign minister of Iran regarding open access to Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) there, giving hope that some progress is being made. Meanwhile, a campaign was launched today by Iranians taking advantage of the unfolding action to help bring more light to their cause of getting full access to the service in their country.

They began posting under the hashtag #AddIranToTwitter, though perhaps not in the way Costolo would’ve expected. Instead, they were by and large calling on HIM to stop being complicit in the censorship, with the idea that they could worry about Iranian authorization later. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) does not have Iran in their list of countries people can declare themselves as being from on their accounts.

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