Twitter suspended the account of a far-right Dutch politician citing violations of its rules against hateful conduct. The social media giant also deleted the tweet that triggered the suspension.
On April 19, known anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders lost access to his Twitter account. Bloomberg reported that Twitter suspended Wilders’ account after responding to a tweet from Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Twitter also deleted Wilders’ response to Sharif’s tweet, which condemned the rampant Islamophobia in Europe.
Wilders is the founder and political leader of the Party for Freedom, a far-right political group that holds a small portion of the Netherland’s parliamentary seat.
Wilders and his party have been open about their anti-Islam and anti-immigration agendas. His extreme right-wing political views and agendas earned him “Dutch Donald Trump.” In 2015, he claimed that Islam is not suitable for European values.
Harm Beertema, an MP from the Party for Freedom, accused Twitter of playing politics, calling it an “instrument of the elite.”
However, EuroNews reported that the suspension was a mistake. According to Twitter, the suspension of Wilders’ account was an error. Twitter clarified that they temporarily restricted Wilders’ account on Monday, April 18.
A spokesperson for Twitter explained that they “took enforcement action against the account in error.” and have restored access to Wilders’ account.
“It is our top priority to keep everyone who uses Twitter safe and free from abuse,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to enforce our rules judiciously and impartially for all accounts that engage in behaviors that violate the Twitter Rules in line with our range of enforcement options,” he added.
Wilder’s Twitter account abruptly stopped posting on April 20. It resumed posting after the alleged suspension, with Wilder’s following tweet consisting of videos of Pakistanis stepping on his images and calling for his death.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 2, 2022