Twitter Has Started Its Messy 'Purge' Of Neo-Nazi And 'Alt-Right' Accounts

Twitter's official account on a smartphone. The platform has announced it will enforce a new set of rules aiming to curb abuse and harassment

Twitter Has Started Its Messy 'Purge' Of Neo-Nazi And 'Alt-Right' Accounts

In its official statement on the new rules Monday, Twitter also acknowledged that enforcing the new rules is going to be a messy business.

Twitter made one of their first cuts Monday, by suspending the account of Jayda Fransen, the leader of the controversial Britain First group, known for tweeting anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Ms. Fransen was catapulted to global notoriety when US President Donald Trump retweeted several of her online posts which were roundly condemned as Islamophobic.

Also banned are accounts belonging to the Traditionalist Worker Party, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as white nationalist, as well as leaders of League of the South, a similar group which seeks "a free and independent Southern republic", according to its website.

The group did not respond to a request for comment, but shared links to articles about the suspension on its Facebook page which has a blue tick.

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Hateful imagery and language in Twitter profiles as well as the use of any language that condones violence.

That means users may not use such imagery in live video or profile and header images.

If a user wants to post symbols or images that might be considered hateful, the post must be marked "sensitive media". In August, social media networks began removing white nationalists after hundreds gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of them was charged with murdering a 32-year-old woman by running her down in a vehicle.

Twitter on Monday warned that to reduce hateful and abusive content on the platform, it would start enforcing updates to the Twitter Rules announced in November.

At first, Twitter claimed the tweets were newsworthy, but then the company clarified that they did not violate its policy, which allows some forms of graphic violence.

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The new rules forbid users from affiliating themselves with groups or organizations that promote hate crimes and abuse as well as taking into account offline activity.

Twitter is also prohibiting users from abusing or threatening others through their profiles or usernames.

Twitter says any accounts that fail to abide by this rule will be permanently suspended. "These changes will be enforced starting December 18", Twitter said in a statement.

"Social media companies have more to do to prevent harm on their sites", he added.

Twitter has been overhauling many of its policies in recent weeks following repeated criticism over how it handles abusive content.

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"In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process", it said.

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