Nazis get onto Twitter, but they're not being blocked

Next Story

Razer announces left handed gaming mouse

There is a tweet being retweeted heavily within the German Twitter community right now which roughly translates as

“BEWARE Nazi-pigs on Twitter! @Heil_Hitler_88 Please block so that the account gets deleted. #nazi #block #rt Please!” (original).

Now, if Twitter had servers in Germany an account like @Heil_Hitler_88 (we’re not linking BTW) would be illegal and would be deleted right away.

Indeed, Twitter itself might well be hauled into court to explain why it isn’t automatically filtering and blocking Nazi material circulating since this is obviously a sensitive subject in Germany and there are specific anti Nazi laws. Ebay famously had to block the sale of Nazi memorabilia in Germany for this reason.

The trouble is, Twitter is in the US, and appears not to have noticed. So the German Twitter community is trying to get Twitter to block the account with this retweeting.

It will be in interesting to see how this plays out. As we’ve seen with the Facebook and the Holocaust issue, this stuff doesn’t go away and needs to be addressed.

  • CompareChecker

    Hmm, similar vibe to Sergey Brin commenting on Google not blocking access to Nazi material etc. As a communication platform where do you draw the line on freedom of speech vs inciting racial hatred?

    • Frank Ettenberg

      Nazis were condemned as war criminals in an international court. It is internationally agreed they committed genocide. I think it’s wise to draw the line against speaking favorably or tolerating this kind of ideology and behavior.

  • Dan Leach

    Why should they remove it? Yes the content is vile but so is a lot of content – if we block that what else do we need to block.

    The Chinese don’t like anything related to Tiananmen Square, do we remove any Twitter references to that too.

    Fine if you personally block accounts, that’s up to you but it’s not Twitter’s responsibility to police what people write online!

  • Iralie

    I can understand nazis being a sensitive subject in Germany, but the tweeter in question doesn’t appear to be particularly serious (as far as I can tell from reading a Google Translator version of his page) and seem to be just going for shock effect by shouting hitler over and over again, rather the more serious issue of actually following nazi principles.

  • Zee

    Pretty sure you didn’t see our post about it but Twitter responded to the girl who tipped us about it saying that they wouldn’t be policing accounts. IF you want it removed, block and report it. The more people that to do that the more chance it gets removed completely.

  • knx-45

    Free speech.

  • Jordan

    Funny how Internet nerds only support free speech for opinions they agree with.

  • Joe Brooks

    Twitter is an American company and isn’t bound by German censorship laws. So no, while the account are horrendous they shouldn’t be banned. Freedom of Speech has an ugly side to it, but if you ever dabble in the idea of curving certain speech then you no longer have the full freedom. The only consequence the account owner should have to endure is people choosing not to follow the account.

    Am I the only one who never heard of this account before reading about it here on TechCrunch? Maybe I do a better job of self censoring my own twitter stream.

  • John

    Blocked… get rid of that scum

  • Bilbo Baggins

    Do they block extremist Muslim accounts?

  • mike
  • Kam Lagan

    You should actually leave them alone. By blocking them, you only feed the reasons they feel the way they do. Besides, you can’t hide from it, bury your head in the sand.
    Ignoring something is not the same as dealing with it.

    We would be ignorant and as fascist as them if we blocked them.

    I am of colour by the way…

  • Nicole Celikkesen

    Interesting news, thanks! The account exists for about 24 hours. At the moment, there are no news in germany about it. Hope, Twitter will react fast….

  • PeteDrudge

    Tough call here. Nazi, not cool. But the line of freedom of speech? For more Twitterness, peep Twitterholic Ashton Kucher, Twitter CEO Evan Williams, others at SXSW.

  • Patrick

    As of now, this account only has 9 followers. It is really worth giving this “story” so much attention?

  • DeJavu

    I think if you dislike the content you should ignore it but I can’t agree with having it removed or blocked.

  • Maxime Simon

    Heil Hitler 88 is a small French group that is currently on trial for weapons possession and creation of an “army” to kill the “scum” in French suburbs. That’s a shame but such ideologies still exist.

  • Jon Gretar Borgthorsson

    Are people really wasting their time feeding the Nazis? Just let them be. It’s a small noisy group with no power. Does anyone think they will disappear because they are not on Twitter anymore? What is a “win” here?

    There are actual problems with actual powerful organized groups that are saying pretty much the same thing. But they are protected because their hate speech is protected as “religious”. These are the people we need to worry about. The neo-nazi fuckers are just some dumb kids.

    But.. Also with these groups, be it christian fundamentalists, muslim fundamentalists or nazis, disabling their Twitter accounts is laughable as a “victory”. The problems are way bigger than just that they have Twitter & Facebook accounts.

  • Gil

    Inciting?? Let people bitch, complain, spew whatever they want. Depending on the window you’re looking through it means different things.

    I have free will. Individuals are the only ones responsible for their actions.

    Our heroes are terrorists in other parts of the world and vice versa.

  • Bob Dole Lives!

    I have to say this is a subject that I’m a bit torn on and have yet to arrive at a conclusion that is satisfactory. While the hate is deeply appalling on every level, it is a bit scarier to begin the descent into either self or government censorship on the internet. I believe in an open and free internet (and offline speech as well), one that tolerates my thoughts and theirs. Extremist ideas will fizzle into the fringe. The free publicity for that fringe such as this post does as much as the thousands of articles on the Westboro Baptist Church… ignore it and it’ll go away on its own except for the extremely small minority who will gravitate towards that thinking regardless of whether @Heil_hitler_88 exists or not.

  • cj

    What a slippery slope you’re advocating here. Freedom of speech applies to all. Even those we may not agree.

  • Nazis get onto Twitter, but they're not being blocked

    […] the original post: Nazis get onto Twitter, but they're not being blocked Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: community-right, german, nazi-pigs, now-which, […]

  • wtfpwn

    KeinGott means No God…what an idiot!

  • igebadia

    Maybe the solution is to have an independent party made up of active social users from different countries create a constitution which would allow social sites to not have to decide what is acceptable or not. Why is it always the anti jewish stuff that gets mentioned on TC and never the other hate speech? Seems like it is ok to say what you want unless it is about Jewish people.

  • Anonymous

    I’m for free speech, and I have exercised my right to block that account and not view their updates.

  • GLake

    I like this. It’s not companies stepping in and playing censor, it is people actively selecting their community. It’s kinda like a social networking version of boycotting. It’s kinda’ cool to think about.

blog comments powered by Disqus