Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter bans InfoWars accounts

Twitter has permanently banned accounts of TV host Alex Jones and InfoWars from the platform, the company said in a statement.

According to the company, Jones accounts violated the company’s rules. The ban comes weeks after Jones was banned or suspended by other major tech companies like Apple, Facebook and YouTube.

“We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts’ past violations,” the company said in a series of tweets. “We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case.”

 

Twitter VIP and other political clients

Twitter Inc management confirmed that accounts belonging to world leaders have special status on the microblog network, frustrating users who have called on the company to banish U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a post on a corporate blog.

Twitter’ management has declared previously that “newsworthiness” and whether a tweet is “of public interest” are among the factors it considers before removing an account or a tweet.

The public concerns about legal framework of powers of social media are at rise, amid closure or a number of prominent political players: the beginning of this year Greek party Golden Dawn, the third group in the parliament discovered their microblog was shut down. In Germany Twitter blocked for 12 hours the account of Beatrix von Storch, the deputy parliamentary leader for the  Alternative for Germany party.

The sequence of events started when Cologne police tweeted a New Year’s greeting in Arabic, along with English and French, von Storch reacted on Twitter: “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”. She clearly referred to the dramatic events in Cologne when hundreds of German women were trapped as victims of sexual assaults by migrants during New Year celebration at central square of town.

However, Beatrix von Storch Twitter microblog was blocked/suspended, the Facebook page with the similar message reacted by deleting her post: “Facebook has now also censored me. This is the end of the rule of law.” – the deputy leader of AfD wrote.

Both Twitter and Facebook as well as YouTube campaigned against the new law called the Network Enforcement Act, which gives social media firms 24 hours to remove content considered sedition, threat, insult or slander. Civil rights groups have raised concern about the damages to free speech.

 

 

 

Twitter shuts microblog of Greek parliament group

Microblog social network Twitter has blocked the account of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party , the third-strongest in Greek parliament after winning 7% of the votes, in 2015 elections.  The party also wins seats in European Parliament. According to current opinion polls, it is holding its ground among the voters, now at 6.8%. Golden Dawn is the most vehement critics of illegal mass migration and globalism, nostalgic about ‘old good days’ of Ancient Sparta.

The communication company for social networking service did not explain their decision to block the Golden Dawn account, however it was interpreted as the move to terminate activities of a political group with views unappealing to Twitter’s management.

“After Facebook, … Instagram and all the corrupt media, it was Twitter’s turn to target the party in a vulgar manner,” Golden Dawn said in response.

The party’s Twitter page was still inaccessible as of Friday, January, 6.

 

Irrespectful of the views of the Greek parliamentary group, the precedent raises questions about the powers of social network companies, which accumulated an extraordinary authority, transcending national borders to influence politics, and potentially threaten the very basis of participative democracy, when discriminating an “unfortunate” political player.

The phenomenon of social media is relatively new byproduct of Digital revolution, however its steep rise in popularity, and immense power on public opinion, has not been legally framed so far. The communication companies in ante-Digital era, providing telephone services, or mail services did not have powers to cut connection based on the content of the conversations, or correspondence neither had they right of surveillance.

The decision of the Twitter company also coincided with a declared intention of French President Emmanuel Macron to defeat ‘fake news,’  in social media by creating a new law, which  will be drafted and presented to open debate in upcoming weeks.

 

 

Russia slams US control of Twitter

Twitter’s decision to remove all advertising from the accounts of RT television channel and news agency Sputnik shows that the US authorities directly control the process of decision-making in this company, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“We believe that this particular ban has demonstrated Twitter’s commercial unworthiness and absolute dependence on the likes and dislikes of the US establishment, which directly controls the process of decision-making in this company. That’s the way we see it,”  Zakharova underlined.

“We are urging the users of all social networks to derive conclusions in this particular situation,” Zakharova said. “Today Twitter has outlawed the advertising of Russian mass media, including RT and Sputnik. Tomorrow it may follow volatile political preferences to declare as the United States’ enemies some mass media or businesses that cooperate with Twitter not only in our country, but also in any other country. At the same time, just as the RT channel, they may invest in advertising campaigns and some other joint projects only to get such image costs for their own money.”

Zakharova said that Russia interpreted that decision in the context of “continuing attempts by the US Administration to eliminate a source of alternative information some US political circles find unsuitable… the US authorities’ wish to see Russian mass media on the list of foreign agents,” she concluded.

 

Will EU impose censorship on Twitter?

Twitter

This week the European consumer protection commissioner  has proposed to the US social media companies Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc to amend their terms of service within one month or face fines,  Reuters claims, referring to anonymous sources.

U.S. technology companies have been already  confronted with scrutiny in European Union for the way of conducting business, from privacy to censorship of presumably ‘hateful’ content, in the other words, practicing censorship.

Reportedly the EU authorities sent letters to the social media companies in December last year, with a request to align the services to European Union consumer protection law, including the obligation to tackle ‘fraud and scams’ on their websites.

In case the request agreed upon, it will have a huge impact on the political life in Europe, pushing the EU critics out of the communication field.  The independent experts unanimously underlined the power of social media as viable alternative to  traditional mass-media, fulfilling their crucial role in ‘teleguided democracy’ modern societies. The Twitter has been chosen a tool by the US President Trump to struggle with traditional mass-media over what he considers to be a misrepresentation of his ideas and activities.

The move of the EU Commission, if confirmed, might signify the closure of the using of the social media as a channel for political communication under the pretext of care for the European consumers. The one month term reportedly imposed will already hinder the communications during French presidential elections on the 27 April – 7 May, depriving Marine Le Pen, the major critic of the EU, from her major tool of communication with the electorate.