Venezuela censors tweets amid protests, Twitter confirms

venezuela censors tweets among february protests
Venezuela's tense political climate resulted in Twitter censorship last week.

It appears Twitter images were blocked in Venezuela last week, according to users. 

Venezuelans have plenty to tweet about right now: the country is in economic turmoil, which prompted demonstrations against the policies of President Nicolas Maduro. These protests turned violent, with three student activists killed in the capital city of Caracas. Maduro is now cracking down on protesters, and this seems to include censorship: Venezuelan Twitter users started reporting last week that images were blocked until Friday, so they could not see the media posted on Thursday – one of the most intense days of demonstration. Maduro also issued arrest warrants for his political opponents. 

The AP reported last week that Twitter confirmed that Venezuelan users could not access images, but Digital Trends is still waiting for a response from Twitter to confirm this independently. CANTV, Venezuela’s main telecommunications company, denied participating in this type of blocking. 

The situation appears to be getting even more tense, even as the brief social media censorship has ended. Protests swelled to even larger sizes over the weekend, and Maduro expelled three U.S. diplomats this past Sunday. 

This conflict is unlikely to resolved neatly, as Venezuelan citizens remain angry about the country’s economic woes: Inflation is at 56.2 percent (the worst in the world) and Venezuela is placing restrictions on its currency, to a point that international airlines are pulling out of the country because their money is locked inside. We wouldn’t be surprised if more social media blockages may be on the horizon.

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