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Twitter bans Neo-Nazi group, a first for the website

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Jeff Chiu/AP/File

(Read caption) In this June 23, 2010, file photo, a Twitter sign hangs at the offices of Twitter Inc., in San Francisco.

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Twitter has invoked its local censorship policy for the first time, blocking the feed of a German Neo-Nazi group known as Besseres Hannover, or Better Hannover. According to the Associated Press, the ban came after authorities in Lower Saxony ordered "the closure of all user accounts of the Besseres Hannover group," including YouTube and Twitter. 

"We announced the ability to withhold content back in January," Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray said in a tweet earlier today. "We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany."

In a separate tweet, he posted a link to Twitter's "Country-Withheld Content" policy, and wrote that Twitter "never [wants] to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly & transparently." 

That policy stipulates that Twitter will attempt to balance the free speech of its users with local legal concerns. From the Twitter Website: 


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