Twitter blocks neo-Nazi account to users in Germany

Twitter logo Twitter first notified users of its local ban policy in January

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Twitter has blocked access to a neo-Nazi account at the request of the German government.

The tweets will no longer be visible to users in Germany although the rest of the world will be able to view them.

It is the first time the social networking site has implemented its local censorship policy, which came into force in January.

That policy allows it to block content in specific countries if tweets violate local laws.

Announcing the decision, Twitter's general counsel Alex Macgillivray said: "Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly and transparently."

In the tweet, he published links to the letter sent by German police, requesting the account be closed.

The letter outlined how the government had banned the organisation Besseres Hannover, (Better Hannover), a right-wing extremist group from Lower Saxony.

"It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately," the letter read.

It was unclear whether the group had a Facebook page but a spokesman for the social network said: "We work with anti-Nazi organisations and would encourage anyone who finds content like this to report it to Facebook."

Members of the group have been charged with inciting racial hatred and creating a criminal organisation.

Besseres Hannover is accused of issuing threats against immigrants and distributing racist pamphlets at schools in Lower Saxony.

It is also suspected of sending a threatening video to the state's social affairs minister Aygul Ozkan, a German-born conservative politician whose family comes from Turkey.

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