Twitter has begun using a new system of censorship on its platform, not by blocking messages from being posted or deleting them after the fact, but preventing other people from viewing them – in this instance, Germans can no longer view comments from one neo nazi group.
The account being censored in the country is run by a far right wing group known as Besseres Hannover, a neo Nazi group that has been declared illegal by German’s anti-nazi laws.
Head lawyer at the social network, Alex Macgillivray, said that Twitter wasn’t keen on censorship, but that it was, ”good to have tools to do it narrowly & transparently.” He also linked to the official censorship request from the German Ministry of the Interior. It actually asks twitter to remove the account, but unless you’re a German Zeropaid reader you’ll still be able to access it.
However considering the organisation hasn’t tweeted since it was raided in September, this doesn’t seem like that too big a problem. According to the censorship request, the group had been disbanded, all of its assets seized and its accounts online closed down – apart from Twitter it seems. In total 20 members were arrested on suspicion of forming a criminal organisation. The group as a whole stands accused of threatening immigrants and distributing pro-nazi materials in local schools, according to the Telegraph.
You could say that Twitter is being quite shrewd here. It’s complied with local German law that has banned the group from existing and has made it as if it doesn’t exist within that law boundary. However, in the rest of the world where there is no law against its existence, the content is viewable.
However the social network has been circling its wagons more than usual in the past year or so, tightening up its API and making it more of a closed platform than some originally hoped it would be. Whether this will lead to better monetisation as is intended, remains to be seen, but it could negatively impact the user base and perhaps this is a sign that Twitter is becoming more censored, even if it is at the request of local law enforcement.
What do you guys think?