While a petition tries to get Griffin off the service, Twitter is censoring other users
The last few days have seen tweets from neo-Nazis censored in France and Germany while there have been calls for right-wing British politician Nick Griffin to be barred from Twitter.
But should Twitter censor content at all? The moves in France and Germany have been controversial, even though they were against extremists who were clearly inciting racial hatred. Meanwhile, Nick Griffin is alleged to have broken Twitter’s rules of use in a different indicent, according to a petition hosted by Change.org
Breaking Twitter terms
Griffin, who is chairman of the British National Party and Member of the European Party for North West England, tweeted the address of a gay couple who had won their discrimination case for being turned away from a bed & breakfast based on their sexuality. He gave their address and encouraged a demo outside their house, to “say no to heterophobia”.
The petition points out that giving away someone’s address is explicitly banned by Twitter, as are threats of violence, and its petition to get him off the service now has nearly 32,000 signatures.
The service’s censorship in France and Germany is based on Twitter’s ability to censor tweets from specific users, on a country-by-country basis, so the anti-Semitic tweets of Beseres Hannover (Better Hannover) are still available outside Germany.
Meanwhile, in France, tweets on a specific anti-Semitic hashtag have apparently been pulled from the service.
Observers have pointed out that these actions leave the offensive tweets visible outside the countries where the censorship applies, and so may be of limited value.
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