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Twitter bans German neo-nazis

by on19 October 2012

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Only in Germany though

Twitter has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account at the request of the German government.

While the rest of the world will be able to see them, Germans will not. It is the first time the social networking site has implemented its local censorship policy, which came into force in January.

It allows it to block content in specific countries if tweets violate local laws. In Germany you are not allowed to push neo-nazi material on account of a bad experience the nation had when it allowed that sort of thing. Announcing the decision, Twitter's general counsel Alex Macgillivray said: "Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly and transparently."

The site belonged to the organisation Besseres Hannover, (Better Hannover), a right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony. The group has been officially disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately. Twitter said that it works with anti-Nazi organisations and would encourage anyone who finds content like this to report it to Facebook.

Members of the group have been charged with inciting racial hatred and creating a criminal organisation. It is also accused of issuing threats against immigrants and distributing racist pamphlets at schools in Lower Saxony.
Lately it sent a threatening video to the state's social affairs minister Aygul Ozkan, a German-born conservative politician whose family comes from Turkey.

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