Britain First account suspensions not due to Trump retweets – Twitter

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The decision to suspend Twitter accounts linked to far-right group Britain First was not prompted by Donald Trump retweeting one of their messages, the social media firm said.

It was a “coincidence of timing” that the accounts were suspended in December 2017 just weeks after the US President retweeted a video from the group’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

Labour MP Jo Stevens hit out at the “fascist organisation whose videos president Trump retweeted”.

At a special session of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in Washington DC, she told Twitter bosses: “I’m really concerned about the flaws in your policing system for your platform because it was only after president Trump retweeted those videos from Britain First that you took Britain First down from the platform.

Nick Pickles, Twitter’s UK policy chief, said: “It was a policy question that we discussed a lot internally.

“The actions of any user in retweeting another user are not factors in our policy framework.

“We had announced we were reviewing our approach to non-terrorist violent extremist groups.

“Our policy prohibits the promotion of terrorism and there are certain groups who fell into the ‘non-terrorist organisation’ space.

“We then took the best part of three months to try and carefully understand where would the lines of that policy fall, not just in the UK but in India, in the US and other countries.

“So when we then enforced that policy Britain First were one of the organisations affected through it but it wasn’t a decision to remove an account because of another account’s actions.”

Ms Stevens asked: “So I shouldn’t read anything more in to it other than it was a coincidence of timing.”

Mr Pickles replied: “Yes.”

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