FireTweet is an Android app that uses peer-to-peer networking to circumvent firewalls that block Twitter. It’s free, has no ads and requires no special setup.
Once launched, FireTweet looks like a standard Twitter app for an Android device. It lets users read and write tweets in the same way they would normally, but without being subject to access controls. They can also create a new Twitter account using FireTweet.
The app is based on Lantern, an open source peer-to-peer networking system that we’ve covered previously. While Lantern can be used to circumvent Internet access restrictions of all kinds, FireTweet focuses only on providing access to Twitter.
If you want an all-purpose tool for combating online censorship, Lantern or another solution (like a VPN service or Tor) is therefore what you need. If you just want to tweet, however, FireTweet provides a quick and easy way to do so from a location where Twitter access would otherwise be blocked.
That makes FireTweet useful in countries like China, which has long restricted or blocked access to Twitter. China permits use of another microblogging platform, Weibo, in Twitter’s stead, but it prevents Weibo users from discussing certain types of content.
Other countries, including Turkey, have imposed across-the-board bans of Twitter in recent years (Turkey’s has since been lifted, although certain Twitter accounts remain censored), which an app like FireTweet could circumvent.
FireTweet also makes it possible to access Twitter accounts that are blocked in a particular country, even if Twitter as a whole is not censored there. That has happened in places from Russia to India.