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Twitter censors an account for the first time, banning a neo-Nazi group from being viewed in Germany

Zachary M. Seward
By Zachary M. Seward

Chief executive officer

Twitter just disclosed that it is blocking users in Germany from viewing tweets by a Neo-Nazi group that German police described as a “criminal association.” It’s the first time Twitter has censored an account.

The group is Besseres Hannover, and its account, @hannoverticker, is still visible in the United States. Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray, made the disclosure in a tweet. “Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly & transparently,” he said.

Twitter has also posted the request it received from German police to close the account. The company first announced in January that it would censor tweets deemed illegal in certain countries and disclose whenever it does so. The company has generally taken a more cautious approach to censoring material in foreign countries than other American tech companies.