Human Rights First Calls on Twitter to End Policy Weaponized by Extremists

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Twitter’s recently-announced "Private Information Policy" is being used as a weapon against the Twitter accounts of journalists, anti-racist activists, and researchers into extremism. Yesterday, investigators in Human Rights First’s Innovation Lab and Veterans for American Ideals discovered that white extremist leaders of an American neo-nazi party have compiled a list of 48 such accounts and instructed their followers to “brigade” them with complaints, so they are taken down in accordance with Twitter’s new policy.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Twitter’s recently-announced “Private Information Policy” is being used as a weapon against the Twitter accounts of journalists, anti-racist activists, and researchers into extremism.

Yesterday, investigators in Human Rights First’s Innovation Lab and Veterans for American Ideals discovered that white extremist leaders of an American neo-nazi party have compiled a list of 48 such accounts and instructed their followers to “brigade” them with complaints, so they are taken down in accordance with Twitter’s new policy.

“When Twitter announced this policy, they noted that misuse of media has a ‘disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities,’ and said they would enforce these new rules in accordance with their ‘safety policies with human rights standards,’” said Michael Breen, President and CEO of Human Rights First. “Instead, Twitter has given extremists a new weapon to bring harm to those in the greatest need of protection and those shining a light on danger.”

Other researchers have found that posts from (accounts of) journalists, activists, even women who have posted about experiencing domestic abuse have been removed per Twitter’s new policy.

Human Rights First calls on Twitter to consider the dangerous effects of this ill-considered policy and halt its implementation immediately

Press

Published on December 2, 2021

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