San Francisco: Twitter has mistakenly suspended several accounts of anti-extremists researchers after extremist groups began exploiting its new private media policy, the media reported.
The new rules were announced just a day after Indian-origin Parag Agrawal took over from Co-founder Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO.
According to a report in The Washington Post, the extremist groups began abusing Twitter’s new system shortly after it debuted.
They used platforms like Telegram and Gab to organise against anti-extremist accounts that expose and keep track of white supremacists at hate rallies.
The extremists “got these accounts suspended and had their personal photos removed”.
Twitter has since launched an internal probe into the matter and has made the necessary corrections.
Twitter’s new policy, which allows individuals to request takedowns of photos or videos that contain them, has become the target of far-right activists who seek to remove pictures of them taken at hate rallies.
The micro-blogging platform had said that the private media policy was put in place to “curb the misuse of media to harass, intimate, and reveal the identities of private individuals which disproportionately affects women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
It, however, is unclear how it plans on taking steps to clarify the private media policy any further.
According to The Post, some researchers learned that their accounts had been suspended for violating the platform’s rules “against posting media of an individual from a country with a recognised right to privacy law.”
“URGENT: As we feared, @TwitterSafety is already locking and suspending the accounts of extremism researchers under its new “Private Media” policy,” tweeted Los Angeles-based activist and researcher Chad Loder.
Twitter acknowledged that it had been hit with a “significant amount” of wrongful reports, resulting in “a dozen erroneous suspensions.”