Twitter's Sensitive Media Policy bans the display of "symbols historically associated with hate groups" in your profile or banner, and of course that includes the covers of books that criticize hate groups, such as David Neiwert's 2017 book, Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump, whose cover features a stylized US flag in which the stars are all wearing little Klan hoods.
Twitter has suspended Neiwert's account for violating the policy by including his book cover in his profile, and Neiwert is refusing to remove it on principle.
Does this sound familiar? It should. Youtube's anti-Nazi policies are also resulting in mass removals of anti-Nazi videos. As Jillian C York writes in EFF's Caught in the Net: The Impact of "Extremist" Speech Regulations on Human Rights Content report: "The examples highlighted in this document show that casting a wide net into the Internet with faulty automated moderation technology not only captures content deemed extremist, but also inadvertently captures useful content like human rights documentation, thus shrinking the democratic sphere. No proponent of automated content moderation has provided a satisfactory solution to this problem."
“My account was suspended because of the photo of the cover of my book in my profile. This book, 'Alt-America,' is a history of the rise of the radical right in the United States over the past 30 years. It naturally has an illustration featuring KKK hoods because that is its subject. I am one of the nation's leading experts on this subject, and it is insane that you would suspend my account because of this photo. I refuse to remove it on principle.”
Twitter Suspends Journalist for Book About the Far Right [Nick R. Martin/The Daily Beast]
(via Naked Capitalism)
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