Several private accounts of IB members have also been blocked and various individual regional associations such as IB Hamburg, IB Schwaben or IB Paris can no longer be found.
In addition to the page of the Austrian identity leader Martin Sellner with around 40 000 subscribers, leading figures from French IB such as Clément Martin and Thaïs d’Escufon were blocked. Twitter justified the move in a statement, saying they “violating our guidelines on violent extremism”.
“It is currently still unclear how many other patriotic projects, organizations and individual accounts are affected,” said IB Germany. “We will file a complaint against the ban.” At the same time, Twitter has temporarily restricted the accounts of the campaign project “One percent”, the platform “Commemorative 1683” and the magazine Info-Direkt.
The Austrian identity chief Martin Sellner spoke of censorship. “As predicted, the arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center extends far,” he commented on the deletions on the Telegram news platform. He was referring to a report published on Tuesday on the Identity Movement by the NGO “Global Project Against Hate and Extremism”. The 22-page document was drafted by Wendy Via, former head of communications at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and Heidi Beirich, who also worked for SPLC in a senior position for many years.
The report includes “Recommendations to technology companies, particularly Twitter and YouTube, to stop the spreading of identity and other white, racist content”. According to the authors, Twitter and YouTube should “immediately do something to delete all identical channels”. The guidelines against “hate speech”must be implemented rigorously, but they did not go far enough.
Co-author Beirich was delighted by the ban. “I think this is a very important step that Twitter has taken because it means that the large international group of white nationalists associated with Christchurch violence and many other attacks can no longer use Twitter to do so to promote against colored people or, perhaps more importantly, to recruit young people for their movement,” Beirich told NBC News.
Founded in 1971, the SPLC is considered one of the most influential NGOs in the United States and has set itself the goal of focusing on “hate groups and other extremists”. The organization, with a $471 million endowment fund, maintains lists of alleged “hate groups” who have “beliefs or practices that attack or slander an entire class of people, typically because of their immutable characteristics”.