The social media network announced in January that it reserves the right to deny user access at request of government or local official.
Twitter this week censored a controversial user’s account, for the first time since the creation of the social media network.
The decision to block the German neo-Nazi group Besseres Hannover (Better Hannover) marks the first time the company has followed through with its policy to consider requests from authorized government officials to deny access to users in their countries.
The request to block Besseres Hannover was submitted by the Hanover Police on September 25, informing Twitter that the right-wing group operated outside of German law and was currently being investigated for suspected organized crime.
The police asked Twitter to close the group’s user account at once and to deny any efforts to open an alternate account.
The letter of request was published on the website Chilling Effects, which collects data on complaints of any illegal activity on the internet.
Twitter announced in January that it reserved the right to selectively censor content in specific countries. “Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country while keeping it available in the rest of the world,” the company announced in the Twitter blog.
The recent decision to censor the right-wing group is effective only in Germany. Therefore, the neo-Nazi group’s handle @hannoverticker has been blocked in Germany, but is still being updated and can be accessed in other countries.