Twitter Suspends Britain First Leaders Who President Trump Retweeted

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On Monday, Twitter said it would begin enforcing new rules that were announced a month ago as a way to "reduce hateful and abusive content".

Twitter's diminished tolerance for tweets considered hateful, abusive or violent has become part of its corporate strategy over the past several months, as the company has pushed a steady rollout of safeguards and restrictions, including the suspension of numerous accounts associated with white supremacists, terrorists and other violent organizations.

Tweets can still include hate imagery, but users will have to click through a warning to see them, the company said.

Founded in 2006, the San Francisco company had called itself "the free speech wing of the free speech party" and tried to stay out of battles among users. Many white nationalists have, for example, adopted the symbol of Pepe the Frog, a meme that was transformed during the 2016 presidential campaign to be a symbol of far-right Trump supporters.

The rules also extend to so-called "related content", or any "account that abuses or threatens others through their profile information, including their username, display name, or profile bio".

As a private company, Twitter has the legal right to block any speech it wants, since the First Amendment only applies to government control of speech. Most, instead, operate in accordance with their own terms of service.

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Twitter administrators on Monday began suspending or closing social media accounts they deemed to be hateful, threatening or glorifying violence, among them the accounts of prominent white nationalists who are calling the move a "purge" and attack on free speech. Twitter has also been criticized for the seemingly arbitrary way it enforces its rules and has previously said it plans to do a better job of responding to users' reports of abuse.

Twitter also ixnayed the Britain First account, as the party's big cheese Paul Golding, various media outlets reported Monday.

The company declined to specify what others or how many were removed.

"Accounts that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes", will be suspended, Twitter wrote in its announcement Monday.

According to tech news site Recode, "Twitter has said it would be monitoring groups' behavior outside of the website, as it makes its decision as to which users have run afoul of its new guidelines".

But Twitter said it would not cut off accounts for military or government entities, and would consider exceptions "for groups that are now engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution".

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