World Premiere as Twitter Blocks Neo-Nazi Account in Germany
Twitter has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account in Germany at the request of the government in the first test of a new censorship policy, according to the BBC. The micro-blogging platform left the tweets of the account visible to the rest of the world.
“We announced the ability to withhold content back in January,” Twitter General Counsel Alex Macgillivray said on his Twitter account. “We’re using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany.”
The social networking website received via fax a complaint from the Hannover Police at the end of September. “I ask you to close this account immediately and not to open any substitute accounts for the organisation Besseres Hannover,” the Head of Police Administrative Department in Hannover wrote.
He said the government has already banned the right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony. “It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately,” the letter read.
“We don’t care,” tweeted the organization’s representatives when declared illegal by the government. “The Federal Republic of Germany is when one is awakening from his sleep and wakes up in the Democratic Republic.”
Their “national information portal from Hanover” account is still visible on Twitter with the handle @hannoverticker, but hasn’t been updated since the end of September.
German prosecutors have started an investigation against 20 members of the extremist group on charges of inciting racial hatred and creating a criminal organization.