On January 4th 2018, Twitter suspended the account of far-right Golden Dawn (Xrysi Aygi) after Greek Helsinki Monitor filed a report for suspension on 18 December 2017 on grounds of hate speech. GD confirmed the suspension attributing the decision to conspiracy theories.
The suspension came two weeks after Twitter announced it changed its policy towards nationalistic and other groups that promote violence and racist hate. However, the usual practice for an account suspension are reports submitted to Twitter by other users.
Greek Helsinki Monitor had launched a campaign against the official account of Golden Dawn as well as the accounts of GD lawmakers.
#Twitter changed it's policy on #HateSpeech & #Nazi users, even if their actions are off the platform. Some accounts in UK & USA already fell. Join us to achieve suspending #GoldenDawn accounts. Those pictured were reported on 18/12 but pressure is needed:https://t.co/WMvPRXeGde pic.twitter.com/zBn5UtIwiR
— Vassilis Tsarnas (@VassilisTsarnas) December 25, 2017
The Greek neo-Nazi party reacted to Twitter decision with the usual conspiracy argument saying that the party account was suspended due to “the entangled relations of media and corrupt political powers controlling the New World Order.”
Twitter ha snot announced the reason for suspending the GD account or whether the decision is temporary or permanent.
Late October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised there would be more aggressive rules coming to Twitter and the company outlined its policy changes in an email to its Trust & Safety Council. Twitter policy plans included to treat hateful imagery and hate symbols on the platform as “sensitive media” and ban violent groups, or organizations that use or have historically used violence to advance their causes, as well as tweets that “glorify” or “condone” violence.
A month later, Twitter announced that it will monitor hate speech on and off the platform.
To police hate speech and white supremacist rhetoric, Twitter has announced that it will concretize its policies, and crack down heavily on those who use the social medium for “hateful imagery and display names,” or those who “use [a] username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior.”
In its announcement, the social media giant said that it will also ban accounts affiliated with groups which “use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.”
Two days before Twitter suspended the Golden Dawn account it blocked the account of a far-right member of German parliament had her Twitter account suspended shortly after posting an anti-Muslim message.
In a tweet posted on New Year’s Eve, Beatrix von Storch from AfD accused police of appeasing “barbaric, gang-raping Muslim hordes of men” after they tweeted a New Year message in Arabic, as well as German, English and French.
Twitter temporarily suspended von Storch’s account following the post, saying it breached its rules on hate speech. Other members of her Alternative for Germany (AfD) party who tweeted similar messages in support also had their tweets deleted.
Under a law that took full effect in Germany on Monday, January 2nd 2018, Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies can be fined as much as €50 million ($60 million) if they fail to remove hate speech and fake news posts quickly.