Technology

The Britain First account retweeted by Donald Trump has been suspended under Twitter's new rules

Jayda Fransen attracted attention on the platform when a number of anti-Muslim videos she posted were retweeted by US President Donald Trump.

Twitter has suspended a number of accounts connected to the controversial far-right group Britain First.

It coincides with the platform enforcing new rules and guidelines designed to make Twitter a “safer environment”.

Among the accounts to be suspended is that of Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen who gained notoriety when three anti-Muslim videos she posted were retweeted by US President Donald Trump.

Those videos, which could be viewed by the president’s 40-plus million followers, have now disappeared from his timeline.

Donald Trump on Twitter
Screenshot of the Twitter feed of US President Donald Trump after he shared videos tweeted by deputy leader of far-right group Britain First, Jayda Fransen, purporting to show Muslims committing crimes (Donald Trump/Twitter)

Other accounts which appear to have been suspended for violating the new rules are @BritainFirstHQ and that of leader Paul Godling, @Goldingbf.

All three accounts are listed on the Britain First website as “official” accounts.

The group did not respond to a request for comment, but shared links to articles about the suspension on its Facebook page which has a blue tick.

Twitter announced the changes to its guidelines last month, warning people they would come into affect on December 18.

The site will now weigh hateful imagery in the same way it does graphic violence and adult content. That means users may not use such imagery in live videos or profile and header images.

If a user posts hateful symbols or images, it must be marked “sensitive media”. Other users would then see a warning that would allow them to decide whether to view the post.

Twitter is also prohibiting users from abusing or threatening others through their profile information, including usernames.

Twitter has admitted it “may make some mistakes” as it strives to enforce the new policy aimed at reducing hateful and abusive content on the platform.

In a statement, the social site said: “Today, we are starting to enforce these policies across Twitter. In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process.

“We’ll evaluate and iterate on these changes in the coming days and weeks, and will keep you posted on progress along the way.

“We’re making these changes to create a safer environment for everyone.”

Deputy leader of the far right group Britain First Jayda Fransen (Mark Marlow/PA)
Deputy leader of the far right group Britain First Jayda Fransen (Mark Marlow/PA)

Twitter has been overhauling many of its policies in recent weeks following repeated criticism over how it handles abusive content.

Last month the site paused its verification process, as well as removing verified “blue tick” badges from right-wing figures, including former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

This came after it was criticised for verifying the account of Jason Kessler, a prominent alt-right figure in the US who organised a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Twitter said the verified badge was never meant as a sign of endorsement, and the firm’s boss, Jack Dorsey, described the process as “broken”.

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