Twitter Blocks Access to German Neo-Nazi Account

4:41 AM PST 10/18/2012 by Scott Roxborough
Twitter

The online messaging service uses local censorship policy for the first time to block far-right tweets.

 

COLOGNE, Germany - Twitter has, for the first time, made use of its local censorship policy in Germany to block access to the account of a prominent neo-Nazi group.

The online messaging service responded to a request from a German state government and blocked local access to the tweets and timeline of Besseres Hannover, an extreme right-wing organization banned by the state of Lower Saxony for violating German hate speech laws.

In place of the Group's account, German residents trying to access the group's Twitter page will see '@Username withheld'. The account will still be visible to users outside Germany.

Twitter's chief lawyer Alex Macgillivray announced the move in a tweet on Thursday:

"We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan. We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany."

In addition to the ban, the state attorney's office has launched an investigation into Besseres Hannover on suspicion of forming a criminal association.

“I ask you to close this account immediately and not to open any substitute accounts for the organization Besseres Hannover." State authorities banned Besseres Hannover and has said it should bedisbanded, its assets seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately.

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