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Far-right groups are using Twitter’s new personal media policy to target anti-extremism accounts, activists said.

The social media giant last week said images or videos of private individuals shared without permission would be removed upon request.

Activists reported that far-right members used the policy to suspend accounts that identified them.

Twitter said several accounts had been mistakenly suspended following a flood of “coordinated and malicious reports”.

New Policy

The introduction of the new rules last week was an extension of Twitter’s policy to ban “doxxing” (the publication of personal information such as home addresses) without permission.

The company said it will consider the context in which the images are posted. For example, an exception will be made if a tweet is about a public figure, or if the media is caught during a public gathering such as a protest or sporting event.

However, days after the introduction of the new policy, a group of far-right activists reportedly began urging their followers on services such as Telegram and Gab to file reports against anti-extremism accounts.

These accounts include those used to identify neo-Nazis and white supremacy, monitor extremists and document the presence of hate rallies.

The goal seems to be to suspend these accounts, and remove their personal photos.

‘Malicious’ Reports

The Washington Post also reported that a user on Gab’s alternative social network has claimed to have filed more than 50 reports, telling others: “It’s time to keep attacking” and Atlanta Antifascists, one of the more well-known anti-fascist accounts on Twitter, tweeted last week that it had been reported for revealing the identity of the organizer of the “White Student Union”.

It added Twitter had locked him out of his account until it deleted the post.

“Neo-Nazis are using new policies to try to cover up their critics,” his statement read.

“Twitter’s policy is an attempt to protect white power and far-right organizers from public scrutiny. It’s unacceptable, but not surprising”.

A company spokesman told the BBC it had mistakenly suspended accounts under the new policy following a flood of “coordinated and malicious reports”.

Twitter declined to confirm how many reports have been filed so far, but said that “a dozen wrong suspensions” have occurred. Besides, Twitter also said the error had been corrected, and an internal review had been launched to make sure its new rules were “applied as intended.”

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