Twitter Suspends Racist Account


A Britain’s First march in Dewsbury (Image: Andy Catchpool, Huddersfield Examiner)

The folks over at Twitter have taken action by suspending the account of Britain First, a far-right neo-nazi group. While many are praising Twitter for taking steps to block this sort of trash, others are questioning the mega-site’s role in freedom of expression.

I have to admit that no matter how egregious I find this vile group – and unfortunately many more like it – and their message of intolerance and violence, I cannot help but wonder if it is the place of Twitter to suspend the accounts. 

I have to admit that no matter how egregious I find this vile group – and unfortunately many more like it – and their message of intolerance and violence,  I cannot help but wonder if it is the place of Twitter to suspend the accounts. (Twitter has been clear that the account is “suspended” not deleted or permanently removed.)

The presentation of heinous racist tracts is not limited to Twitter, nor for that matter to the Internet. On far too many occasions groups like Britain First have protested in public; often inciting violence. These gatherings usually include people waving racist slogans and comments on placards. Should the vendors of the poster board, nails, glue and stick be held responsible for what the purchaser writes on it?

By providing the medium, does that make one responsible for the content presented thereon? Are obscene phone calls the telephone company’s fault?

By providing the medium, does that make one responsible for the content presented thereon? Are obscene phone calls the telephone company’s fault? I have difficulty relating the two parts of the equation. Newspapers have long been able to provide a forum for diverging points of view in the form of op-eds. The opinions expressed there are often clearly not those of the editorial board of the paper. Twitter to me is a forum. Had the atrocious Tweets originated from @twitter then I would be the first to jump on them, but they come from a third party.

No doubt some will point out that Twitter makes a whole lot of money from these accounts through advertising revenues. I would suggest it is incumbent upon the advertisers to pull their sponsorship; and on us, the Twitter users and casual readers, to ignore these sites.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Twitter Suspends Racist Account

  1. If it isn’t Twitter’s place to suspend them, who else should be doing it? This is the point when I begin to lose my temper. Hitler could have been stopped, but no one stopped him. Freedom of expression, you know. You wouldn’t want to impinge on his civil rights.

    There has to be a stopping point. There has to be a “no more” point. I get civil rights better than most people, but I also understand that failing to have that “stop” point has had catastrophic results. Someone has to say “no more, it’s over.” I’m glad it’s Twitter.

  2. Pingback: Author Interview – Lior Gavra – “BitterSweet” (Contemporary Poetry) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s