Twitter Suspends Trump's Favorite Alt-Right Islamophobic Retweet Account

  • Twitter Suspends Trump's Favorite Alt-Right Islamophobic Retweet Account

Twitter Suspends Trump's Favorite Alt-Right Islamophobic Retweet Account

Twitter announced in mid-November that beginning December 18, it would consider account user behavior "on and off the platform" when deciding whether to close down an account, as part of an effort to "reduce hateful and abusive content".

It was the latest in a steady rollout of policies Twitter hopes will make the social network more approachable for non-users and more palatable for women and people of color - two groups that are among Twitter's most loyal and most vulnerable to the barbs of Internet trolls and abusers.

Accounts will be considered for suspension when reported by other Twitter users.

The new rules are because some users with ties to the alt-right or neo-Nazi movements have taken advantage of Twitter to send false news reports and to attack their critics.

This came after it was criticised for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, a prominent alt-right figure in the United States who organised a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both their accounts and past tweets are unavailable, along with their party's official Twitter account-all of which featured posts demonizing immigrants and Muslims.

Privately owned tech companies are not subject to the First Amendment, which ensures the right to speech free from government censorship. In one Tweet, it compared Twitter to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

It coincides with the platform enforcing new rules and guidelines created to make Twitter a "safer environment".

In an internal email which was obtained by Wired.com, Twitter's head of safety policy in October emailed members of its Trust and Safety Council on new rules to promote free speech and curb violence and sexual harassment. "If you're going to ban any kind of opinion, this is a logical place to start".

Still, as of Monday afternoon, the purge wasn't as widespread as many had expected.

On Monday, Twitter users sympathetic with the white nationalists booted from the platform added the hashtag #twitterpurge to blame the company for playing favorites and said it was silencing voices for offering unpopular opinions.

In a statement, the social site said: 'Today, we are starting to enforce these policies across Twitter.

The civil rights group Muslim Advocates also applauded Twitter's new rules.

"Any tool that enables censorship online can be used against potentially everyone - regardless of ideology", Emma Llansó, the director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said after several far-right groups were removed from social media sites this summer.

In a company blog announcing Twitter's enforcement of new rules, the company said it would take action against "accounts that affiliate with organisations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes". In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process.