Twitter suspends accounts of British far-right group leaders

Twitter ‘purge’ could shut down lots of people’s accounts today

It coincides with the platform enforcing new rules and guidelines created to make Twitter a "safer environment".

The main Twitter account of the far-right Britain First party was suspended on Monday, along with the accounts of its two leaders. The three controversial video posts that the USA president had shared with his more than 40 million followers have also disappeared.

The party's official Twitter page has suffered the same fate.

United Kingdom authorities arrested Golding and Fransen earlier this week over incendiary comments about Islam that they made over the summer in Northern Ireland, the BBC reports.

Britain First's leader Paul Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen can no longer tweet and their past posts no longer appear, the BBC reported on Monday.

Twitter said it had decided not to categorize the US Confederate flag as hateful imagery, citing its place in history.

Ms. Fransen, who was arrested by Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detectives in London last month, said she'd been given bail conditions which included a ban on social media.

Twitter has stepped up new anti-hate speech measures and began enforcing them Monday.

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

In addition, the micro-blogging platform's rules on violence and physical harm will be broadened to cover "accounts that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes" and groups that fall under this category will be those that "identify as such or engage in activity-both on and off the platform".

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

Twitter is also prohibiting users from abusing or threatening others through their profiles or usernames.

Taylor said he immediately appealed the suspension but swiftly received a reply from Twitter informing him that his account would not be restored, which he interpreted to mean he had been permanently banned. "These changes will be enforced starting December 18", Twitter said in a statement.

Although some users documented the suspended accounts using #TwitterPurge, others pointed out that many accounts bearing Nazi signifiers remained on the site.

Twitter has been overhauling many of its policies in recent weeks following repeated criticism over how it handles abusive content.

"We'll evaluate and iterate on these changes in the coming days and weeks, and will keep you posted on progress along the way".

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