Twitter suspends EU election campaign accounts for two candidates who were previously banned

Twitter suspends EU election campaign accounts for two candidates who were previously banned

Twitter on Friday said it has suspended the campaign accounts for two candidates in the European Union that belonged to people who were previously banned from the platform.

Twitter suspended the campaign accounts belonging to far-right anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson, who announced his candidacy for the European Parliament on Friday, and Carl Benjamin, a far-right British YouTuber who is running for Parliament. 

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Twitter told The Hill that the accounts had been suspended for violating the platform's terms of service.

The suspensions of @trobinsonmep and @CarlUKIP were first reported by BuzzFeed News

Robinson's and Benjamin's candidacies pose a conundrum for Twitter, as well as other social media platforms, which are important tools for political candidates during election cycles.

Twitter and Facebook both typically leave up accounts and posts from political figures, even when they violate their community guidelines, citing the "newsworthiness" of their comments. 

But Facebook during a phone call with reporters earlier in the day said it was keeping its ban on Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, BuzzFeed reported.

YouTube recently placed restrictions on Robinson's account after the far-right figure was banned from Facebook and Instagram for violating their anti-hate speech policies. 

Robinson founded the anti-Islamic English Defense League, which has previously organized violent protests against Muslims in the United Kingdom.

Benjamin, who goes by the name "Sargon of Akkad," was suspended from Twitter and the crowdfunding site Patreon.   
 
The two figures regularly promote anti-immigrant rhetoric and extremist positions on a range of social issues. 
 
The suspensions come as the EU gears up for its elections next month and tech platforms seek to stave off the spread of misinformation that has plagued elections around the world.