Feeds

Twitter censors bow to police, suppress Nazi tweets

First they came for the national socialists ...

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Twitter has blocked access to a banned Neo-Nazi group in Germany after a request from the local police.

Hannover police asked for the ban after disbanding the far-right group and seizing its assets during an criminal investigation into it.

"All its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately," the police wrote to Twitter. "The Public Prosecutor (State Attorney's Office) has launched an investigation on suspicion of forming a criminal association."

The micro-blogging site caused consternation amongst free speech and free internet supporters when it said in January this year that it was partially abandoning its "tweets must flow" philosophy. The site said that different countries had different ideas about what constituted free expression so Twitter would obey local laws for showing that content locally.

Critics of the change claimed it would be used to make good with repressive regimes and make the service more China-friendly.

Twitter said it would be completely transparent about why it bans specific content, posting cease and desist notices like the one from the Hannover Police on a page on legal complaints about online activity aggregator Chilling Effects.

Alex Macgillivray, general counsel for Twitter, tweeted today that the block in Germany was the first time the site had used its ability to withhold content locally.

Twitter's first transparency report, which showed requests to take down information, showed that the site got three other removal requests this year that it ignored. However, the site removed 5,275 tweets and 599 media over copyright takedown notices. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.