Germany / 18-10-2012
Twitter uses new 'country-withheld content' rule to block neo-Nazi group tweets in Germany
Twitter said today that it has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account in Germany following a request from the government.
The micro-blogging site, which has around 500 million active users, tweeted the announcement earlier this morning.
It is the first time the website has withheld content in a specific country.
“We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan,” Twitter's general counsel Alex Macgillivray said in a message yesterday. “We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany.”
The tweets from the account @hannoverticker will no longer be visible in Germany, but can be seen elsewhere in the world.
The new Twitter policy allows the company to block content in specific countries, if said content violates the laws of that particular country.
In another tweet Alex Macgillivray said: “Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly and transparently.”
He also posted links to a letter from German police outlining how the government had banned the right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony.
"It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately," the letter read.
Around 20 members of the group behind the twitter account, Besseres Hannover, are currently under investigation by prosecutors in Lower Saxony.
The face charges of inciting racial hatred and creating a criminal organisation.