Twitter suspends accounts of Britain First leaders under new abuse rules

Twitter suspends accounts of Britain First leaders under new abuse rules

Twitter began the process Monday morning of suspending users deemed to be in violation of a new rule, and it appears that accounts belonging to users associated with far-right or self-described "alt-right" groups are the site's first targets.

President Donald Trump caused a stir last month when he retweeted a post by Fransen, drawing criticism from British Prime Minister Theresa May. The Traditionalist Worker Party, a group in part founded by neo-Nazi Tony Hovater got banned, as did End Time Paradigm, an anti-Semitic account.

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.

Among the accounts to be suspended is that of Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen who gained notoriety when three anti-Muslim videos she posted were retweeted by US President Donald Trump.

Monitors at the San Francisco company will weigh hateful imagery in the same way they do graphic violence and adult content. 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.

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

But the social media firm did publish a blog post on Monday saying that it would start enforcing rule updates that are created to reduce "hateful and abusive" content.

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Even though Trump has apparently violated Twitter's abuse policy on numerous occassions, his status as a "government entity" gives him a pass. Twitter has struggled throughout the year to explain why Trump's account remains active, while others have been suspended or kicked off the platform for far less.

If a user posts hateful symbols or images, it must be marked "sensitive media".

Any account that abuses or threatens others through their profile information, including their username, display name, or profile bio.

Twitter says any accounts that fail to abide by this rule will be permanently suspended.

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

The Twitter Safety team stated that there is still a long way to go to fine-tune the process: "In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process". To figure out if an account has ties to these groups, Twitter said it will look at users' behavior, such as whether they're funding a violent extremist group, promoting their acts or recruiting for them.

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