Twitter has become a tool used by the masses. The Twitter system allows people to send short messages with hash tags that allow viewers to see many opinions concerning the same topic. Did you see the Presidential debate on Tuesday? If you did you would have noticed all of the tweets of the bottom of the screen on most of the networks. Quite a few of these tweets contained the hast tag, #bindersfullofwomen. Thanks a bunch for that one Romney. Honestly, twitter amuses me, but it can also be just as offensive.
It seems like Twitter has finally started to realize that all of the content on its site is less that friendly, and often downright illegal. Twitter recently unveiled a new initiative to begin blocking certain content that goes against the laws of certain nations. The first use of this system? the blocking of all Nazi content in Germany. As you should probably know by now, Germany has quite a bad history when it comes to Nazis. Remember World War 2? Remember the Holocaust? Both of those events disgust German citizens, and since shortly after World War 2 all Nazi symbols and references have been banned.
Neo-Nazi groups have been using Twitter to get around this law for several years, but Twitter has now said enough. The Neo-Nazi group, known as hannoverticker, was the first user banned on twitter using their new policy against racial hate. Several tweets from this group included calls for rounding up Jews, calling for the government to be overthrown to start a Fourth Reich, and tweets glamorizing the fact that several members are facing criminal charges for inciting racial violence. Not cool.
The new policy actually allows the group to keep their twitter account, but now its tweets are only visible out side of Germany. So how does that make you feel as an American? Do you agree with blocking Nazi content promoting racial violence? Or, if this was to occur in America, would you feel like it is a violation of your first amendment rights? Personally I would feel like it would still be illegal here. Talking about Nazi information is one thing, but attempting to convince people to restart a genocide is quite different.
Twitter, and other Social media sites, can be great places to share your opinions. However, if you are crazy and spewing racial hate, maybe you shouldn’t be surprised if the police come knocking on your door. Social sites are fun, as shown by the humor found in Romney’s Binders full of women comment, but maybe it is time to take some responsibility on them too.