Twitter puts location-based tweet blocking tool into effect

Twitter puts location-based tweet blocking tool into effect
The tweets must flow

Twitter has used its location-specific tweet blocking tool for the first time, withholding access to a neo-Nazi account in Germany.

The rest of the world can still see the account's 140-character ruminations, but anyone accessing Twitter from Germany will see a message saying "This tweet from @username has been withheld in: Germany."

The Tweet-blocking comes after the German police sent a letter requesting that the account be completely shut down as the country's government has banned the organisation that runs it.

Above board

The letter explained, "It is disbanded, its assets are seized and all its accounts in social networks have to be closed immediately."

Twitter's general counsel, Alex Macgillivray, tweeted that the company is loathe to out-right remove any tweets.

"Never want to withhold content; good to have tools to do it narrowly and transparently," he said, referring to the geographically-minded blocking tool.

The feature caused a fair bit of controversy when Twitter first announced that it would be using it; so much so that a number of users boycotted the site for 24 hours.

At the time, Twitter actually used Germany as an example, saying, "[Some countries], for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content."

But it went on to make it clear that "We will not do any proactive filtering or moderation of content. We will only respond, reactively, to a valid legal request."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.