Twitter has responded to criticisms that it censored users parodying the French president Nicolas Sarkozy when he opened an account on the social network on 15 February.
Twitter has responded to accusations of censorship in France after it reportedly took down four user accounts for impersonating French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Image credit: Downing Street/Flickr
"Speaking publicly of individual, specific cases of suspension is a breach of confidentiality and security. That said, we would like to provide this context for the recent suspensions," Twitter said in a post on its French blog.
"Parody is tolerated and encouraged on Twitter, so long as it respects not merely some, but all, of the conditions stated publicly in our parody policy. An impersonating account is suspended when it a) violates our parody policy and b) is reported by the person being impersonated," the company added.
Additionally, Twitter said it only resorts to automated suspension s for accounts which violate the spam section of the Twitter rules, and that even in this case, suspended users are "often granted" a second chance to comply with the rules.
"Twitter plays an integral role in political discourse all over the world. We understand and support the critical need for citizens and politicians to engage in real-time conversations about important issues — and we would never stand in the way of that," the company said. "However, we will also protect the user experience on Twitter, which includes ensuring our policies are followed."