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Mr. Crossan said he wasn’t interested in making a political statement; he just wanted to tackle a complex problem that also might further Google’s crusade to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”

So Mr. Crossan contacted a former Google colleague, Katie Stanton, who now oversees Twitter’s international services. She referred him to Benjy Weinberger, another former Google employee, who is a Twitter engineer. The two men spent the rest of Friday swapping ideas through instant messages and e-mail.

Cooperating with Google on the project was a no-brainer for Twitter. “Twitter is more about human communications than technology,” Miss Stanton said. “We want people’s voices to be heard.”