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Should Twitter have blocked a neo-Nazi group's tweets in Germany?

Twitter has for the first time blocked access to an account at the request of a country's government. Tweets from neo-Nazi group @hannoverticker will no longer be visible to users in Germany.

The group behind the Twitter handle, "Besseres Hannover" was deemed illegal by the Lower Saxony state government last month on grounds it was promoting Nazi ideals.

Because of its Nazi past, Germany has strict laws prohibiting the use of related symbols and slogans -- like the display of the swastika, or saying "heil Hitler."

Alex Macgillivray, Twitter's general counsel for policy, tweeted some of the details of the blocking.  

Chilling Effects published a letter from German police asking Twitter to close the account.

"It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately," wrote Hannover police.

Twitter's spokesman in Germany, Dirk Hensen, said tweets from the account would still be visible elsewhere in the world.

When Twitter first announced that it would introduce the ability to allow government to censor accounts, activists feared that it would stifle free expression. We asked the CBC Community if the move to block posts locally was the right one. Most of you said no.

Do you agree with Twitter's decision to block the neo-Nazi group's tweets within Germany? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: law, Technology, Technology and Science, Twitter, World

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