Monday, October 22, 2012
Nazi Twitter account silenced in Germany
Germans are clearly not as grown-up as Americans. There are some naughty words that they must not hear unless they go berserk. It's a wonder Germans are not embarrassed by such policies.
Twitter, for the first time since its launch in 2006, has blocked access to an account. German police call the neo-Nazi group that operates the account a criminal organization. The Nazis' tweets are blocked only in Germany, under Twitter's policy of "country-withheld content," the New York Times reported, in a first for the company that, up to now, has been almost entirely hands-off in terms of regulating content.
German authorities, who banned the group Besseres Hannover ("Better Hanover") last month, asked Twitter to disable the account entirely, but Twitter's remedy still allows access to the Nazis' tweets outside of Germany. The use of pro-Nazi rhetoric and symbols is illegal in Germany.
To some, Twitter's compromise with Germany represents a show of good will that could prevent a broader government crackdown on the service in the future, Gizmodo points out.
But to others, it’s a slippery slope: If Twitter will censor an account because a national government asks it to, what precedent and expectation does that set? Would Twitter censor the "illegal" accounts of rebels or dissenters at the request of Libya or Iran?