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Twitter suspends accounts of some alt-right figures: USA Today

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Twitter has suspended several accounts linked to the alt-right movement, a loosely organized group that embraces far-right ideologies including white nationalism, USA Today reported.

The accounts suspended by Twitter, which has been criticized for not stopping abusive behavior on its platform, include that of Richard Spencer, who has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the United States, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. (http://usat.ly/2fXyXDo)

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The alt-right movement came to the fore during the U.S. presidential campaign, especially after Republican nominee Donald Trump added Steve Bannon to his campaign team.

Bannon, who has since been named Trump’s chief White House strategist, formerly headed Breitbart News, a website and voice for the alt-right movement.

“I am alive physically but digitally speaking there has been execution squads across the alt-right,” Spencer, who has a verified Twitter account, said in a YouTube video entitled “Knight of the Long Knives” responding to the suspension.

The move by the microblogging service, which did not immediately respond for requests for comment, followed its announcement on Tuesday that it would upgrade some features to better combat cyber-bullying.

USA Today said the Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit organization that tracks what it sees as hate groups and other extremists, had asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts of white supremacists who violated Twitter’s terms of service.

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Others whose accounts have been suspended include Pax Dickinson, founder of alt-right site Wesearchr; an alt-right internet personality who goes by the fake name Ricky Vaughn; and blogger Paul Town, who describes himself as “the leading thoughtleader of alt-right,” CNN reported. (http://cnnmon.ie/2eGkAWe)

(Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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