SearchTwitter adds Iran, Cuba and 26 other countries to location options

Twitter adds Iran, Cuba and 26 other countries to location options...
mashable.com 27/01/2015 Internet-IT

Keywords:#Albania, #Armenia, #Azerbaijan, #Bahrain, #Bangladesh, #Belarus, #Bosnia, #Bosnia_and_Herzegovina, #Cambodia, #China, #Cuba, #Ethiopia, #Georgia, #Hassan_Rouhani, #Herzegovina, #Internet, #Iran, #Iranian, #Iraq, #Ireland, #Islamic, #Kazakhstan, #Korea, #Laos, #London, #Malaysia, #Mashable.com, #Mongolia, #North_Korea, #Oman, #Philippines, #President, #Puerto_Rico, #Rouhani, #Serbia, #Singapore, #Sri_Lanka, #Thailand, #Tunisia, #Twitter, #Uzbekistan, #Vietnam, #Virtual, #Zimbabwe

Image: Mashable composite. Twitter

* * * Lorenzo-headshot-sq
By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai
Twitter has implemented a change that allows users in Iran, Cuba, and 26 other countries to select their location in their account settings, an option which wasn't previously available.
This seemingly minor change, which was implemented on Tuesday without much fanfare, gives users in those 28 countries the chance to take advantage of various features they could not access before.
Until now, a user from Cuba, for example, could not select her own country when she registered for an account in her account settings — she would have to pick another one or pick the "worldwide" option.
Now, those users can choose their location and, in most of the countries, enable two-factor authentication, a key security feature. Users in Iran or Cuba, however, still can't add their Iranian and Cuban cellphone numbers, which is required to enable the security measure. (It's unclear why Iran and Cuba still are still off this list. Twitter did not answer Mashable's request for comment regarding this issue.)
Developers from those countries (minus Cuba and Iran) can now access Twitter's developers platform, which also requires a valid cellphone number. The changes also allow Twitter to better track the number of users from those 28 countries.

Iranian users, in particular, have been vocal about this issue in the past.
When the company's CEO, Dick Costolo, tweeted at Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in September, many Iranians called on Twitter to recognize Iran and include it in it's list of countries.
.@dickc thx 4 reminding @HassanRouhani Even better if @twitter adds #Iran 2 country list & stop over complying w. sanctions #filternet
— Ali Bangi (@alibangi) September 25, 2014
.@dickc @HassanRouhani please add/accept Iran phone number in Twitter! Then ask this Q from Mr.President.
— Nariman Gharib (@ListenToUs) September 25, 2014
Some Iranians even launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #AddIranToTwitter.
#Twitter | Dear @dickc and @jack, just add it here, before Ireland; that's all - thanks! #AddIranToTwitter #Iran pic.twitter.com/wkaW6o3fEu
— Amin Khorami (@aminismyname) September 29, 2014
Twitter has finally granted their wish. While this is a somewhat positive change for Iranians, assuming it will eventually lead to new features, Twitter remains blocked in the country. Iranians have to use proxies or Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which are technically illegal, to use it.
"After a long time [...] finally we can see 'Iran' on Twitter's country list. But, for what purpose?" Nariman Gharib, an Iranian Internet freedom researcher based in London, told Mashable.
The full list of all the new countries that Twitter added to its list is below. Both China and North Korea, whose governments block the service, remain omitted from Twitter's expanded list of country options.
Albania
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cambodia
Cuba
Ethiopia
Georgia
Iran (Islamic Rep. of)
Iraq
Kazakhstan
Laos
Malaysia
Mongolia
Oman
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Serbia
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Tunisia
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Zimbabwe
---Twitter just added 28 new countries to its country list, opening up key features that were previously unavailable to users in those nations.---
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