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Twitter Cracks Down on Far Right Users

Twitter changed their platform policies, resulting in a number of British and American right-wing accounts being banned.  From Taylor Lorenz:

Far-right U.K. political group Britain First was one of the first accounts to be suspended, along with its affiliates including Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. Three of Fransen’s anti-Muslim viral video tweets, one of which featured a Dutch boy in the Netherlands falsely identified as a “migrant,” were recently retweeted by Trump.

White nationalist Jared Taylor and his site, American Resistance, are also some of the early casualties of Twitter’s new anti-hate rules, along with fellow white nationalists Hunter Wallace and the Traditionalist Workers Party. The Traditionalist Workers Party is an organization co-founded by neo-Nazi Tony Hovater, who was recently profiled by the New York Times to substantial backlash.

On Sunday, fear spread among the white nationalist community that Twitter suspensions were imminent. Many began tweeting with the hashtag #TwitterPurge and encouraging followers to find them on Gab.ai, a far-right Twitter clone that once wrote “If you are straight, white, Christian, Republican, anti-PC, libertarian, conservative; to Silicon Valley: you are the enemy” in a press release.

Twitter’s new user agreement states:

You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people. This includes, but is not limited to, threatening or promoting terrorism. You also may not affiliate with organizations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.

I have mixed feelings about major platforms like Twitter banning users for political associations, even when those users are aligned with some of the worst trolls and activists. Having said that, Twitter has been a really terrible place to be these last few years, especially if you are a Jew. Allowing their platform to become an unmitigated cesspool of cranks and racists anonymously attacking journalists and activists doesn’t sound like a good business model, particularly when that platform has yet to find stable economic footing.