Notorious British hate group leader Jayda Fransen has been suspended from Twitter less than a month after Donald Trump retweeted a series of vile anti-Islam video clips from her social media account.
Fransen, the deputy director of the ultra-right wing Britain First party, was blocked from Twitter amid a platform-wide purge of white nationalist and other hate group figures—part of Twitter’s effort to address longstanding complaints that the company tolerates harmful behavior from far-right users. Along with Fransen, Twitter also suspended Britain First’s official account, as well as that of party leader Paul Golding.
In a blog post announcing Twitter’s new policy, the company wrote that it would specifically be working to suspend and ban:
- Accounts that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes. Groups included in this policywill be those that identify as such or engage in activity — both on and off the platform — that promotes violence. This policy does not apply to military or government entities and we will consider exceptions for groups that are currently engaging in (or have engaged in) peaceful resolution.
- Content that glorifies violence or the perpetrators of a violent act. This includes celebrating any violent act in a manner that may inspire others to replicate it or any violence where people were targeted because of their membership in a protected group. We will require offending Tweets to be removed and repeated violations will result in permanent suspension.
Fransen’s tweets, which President Donald Trump shared with his millions of followers, were a series of video clips aimed at inciting hatred toward Muslims and Muslim immigrants. One of the clips—a video purporting to show a Dutch-Muslim immigrant fighting with a boy on crutches—was later revealed to have not featured a Muslim “migrant” at all.
While white nationalist and other hate figures have fretted over Twitter’s decision to crack down on their accounts, the company’s move appears to have been a smart one overall. After Twitter began banning and suspending racist users, its stock jumped 8% to a year-long high.