Britain First leaders’ Twitter accounts suspended

Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen

Twitter has suspended the accounts of the leaders of far-right group Britain First in a crackdown on “hateful conduct”.

The leader of Britain First, Paul Golding, and the group’s deputy, Jayda Fransen, can no longer tweet and their previous posts no longer appear.

The organisation’s official Twitter page has also suffered the same fate.

It appears that three of Ms Fransen’s posts that U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted have gone from his feed as a result.

Those videos, which could be viewed by the president’s 40-plus million followers, had featured anti-Muslim videos and proved highly controversial when the American president shared them last month.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said it had been “wrong for the president to have done this”.

Both Fransen and Golding were arrested earlier this week over separate incidents relating to Northern Ireland.

Twitter has recently faced accusations of not doing enough to protect those targeted by abuse and hate speech.

The new guidelines, leaked in October and announced in November, are part of Twitter’s two-year work to counteract inappropriate content and behaviour, according to the company’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey.

The social media company said the move would “reduce the amount of abusive behaviour and hateful conduct” on the network.

Twitter explained: “If an account’s profile information includes a violent threat or multiple slurs, epithets, racist or sexist tropes, incites fear, or reduces someone to less than human, it will be permanently suspended.

“We plan to develop internal tools to help us identify violating accounts to supplement user reports.”

Twitter has promised a more robust system to appeal against decisions, but said that it was still in development.

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