Twitter is in the business of free speech. That's its product. It provides a broadcasting platform for millions of people worldwide — some 140 million monthly users by Twitter's own count. Twitter famously publishes government data requests, and positions itself as the voice of freedom in oppressed nations.
But now Twitter's position as a free speech leader is in jeopardy. Twitter has a serious censorship problem on its hands, and how it acts to fix it will reveal much about the company's future. Because Twitter doesn't just find itself in the middle of a PR problem. The company's current predicament demonstrates that its core service conflicts with its own attempts to become a larger media player.