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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jonathan Zittrain, a professor at Harvard Law School who is an expert on the Internet, said that Twitter was particularly resilient to censorship because it had so many ways for its posts to originate — from a phone, a Web browser or specialized applications — and so many outlets for those posts to appear.

As each new home for this material becomes a new target for censorship, he said, a repressive system faces a game of whack-a-mole in blocking Internet address after Internet address carrying the subversive material.

“It is easy for Twitter feeds to be echoed everywhere else in the world,” Mr. Zittrain said. “The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what make it so powerful.”