Twitter censors neo-Nazi group: Besseres Hannover is first user blocked under new policy

Twitter incurred Internet wrath when it announced in January that it would begin working with governments to selectively censor tweets in some countries. Activists envisioned the microblogging site cooperating with Middle Eastern despots or the Chinese goverenment to silence dissenters.

By coincidence or design, however, the first instance of Twitter applying its new censorship policy is one that seems likely to provoke outrage from only the most ardent free-speech advocates. On Wednesday night, Twitter general counsel Alex MacGillivray tweeted that the site had agreed to block the account of a neo-Nazi group called Besseres Hannover (“Better Hanover”) in response to a demand from the German government. He included links to both Twitter’s censorship policy and the official request from the German police, which notified the San Francisco-based company that Besseres Hannover “is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately.” It asked that Twitter block its account and prevent it from opening alternate accounts.

via Twitter censors neo-Nazi group: Besseres Hannover is first user blocked under new policy.

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One thought on “Twitter censors neo-Nazi group: Besseres Hannover is first user blocked under new policy

  1. Although it is certainly interesting that Twitter is going to censor tweets in some countries, it may perhaps be more interesting that it is not censoring others. With various governments requesting Twitter censors the content it shares, It seems too cliché that Nazi expression would be the first one silenced. At the moment, Twitter censoring policies allow censorship but how and when the censorship will be realized is determined by the circumstances of the situation. They provide no criteria that could be applied to censor content internationally let alone domestically. Twitter acknowledges that it has the power to censor, but is apparently reluctant to define the borders of its jurisdiction.

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