By Brendan Sasso - 01/27/12 04:27 PM EST
Twitter announced on Friday it will allow foreign governments to censor tweets within their own countries.
"As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression," the social media company wrote in a blog post. "Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content."
Until now, the only way Twitter could block content was by deleting it entirely. The new policy allows it to block users in specific countries from seeing certain tweets.
"Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world," Twitter wrote.
The company said whenever it blocks a tweet, it will explain to users why it removed the content.