In the wake of the US elections, with the rise of the “alt-right” blamed for the easy ride the far right have had on social media, Twitter is eager to prove that it can police its own borders. Perhaps too eager.
Overnight, the social network suspended its own chief executive and co-founder, Jack Dorsey.
A couple of hours later, Dorsey was back, blaming an “internal mistake” for his account suspension, and attempting to make light of it with a call back to both his and the service’s very first tweet.
Hours later, there remain some odd effects around the suspension. Dorsey has lost almost 700,000 followers, if the public counts before and after his suspension are accurate.
Dorsey’s self-imposed ban follows a more deliberate crackdown of far-right accounts on the network. Last week, a number of American far right leaders found their accounts disabled for hate speech, including the white nationalist Richard Spencer, the self-styled “founder of the alt-right”, who led a conference a few days later at which supporters gave Nazi salutes.
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