For the first time ever, Twitter censored a controversial account at the request of local government earlier this week. It was run by neo-Nazis. The ban, which is the first of its kind under a relatively new Twitter policy that gives the company "the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country -- while keeping it available in the rest of the world." As such, the ban is only effective in Germany. The rest of the world is free to follow the bigots.
We're not sure what to think about this one. On one hand, we want to give Twitter a high five for not giving neo-Nazis another forum to spread hatred. Neo-Nazis are really awful! This particular group, Besseres Hannover or @hannoverticker, sparked a wildfire of complaints from other readers for their racist, hateful and generally unpleasant banter on the microblogging network. According to the Financial Times, "it distributed racist materials in schools, sent abusive video messages to officials and threatened physical violence against immigrants." Who likes encouraging school children to be racists and promoting xenophobic violence amongst the masses? Nobody does, because that's hateful and horrible. Which is exactly why the Ministry of the Interior in Lower Saxony banned the group, and local law enforcement pressed Twitter to close the organization's Twitter account.