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Twitter confuses activist Iyad El-Baghdadi with ISIS leader, suspends his account

El-Baghdadi said he received a message from Twitter saying he had "violated" its rules but did not specify the offence.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: January 2, 2016 3:14:52 pm
Iyad El-Badgdadi/ Twitter Iyad El-Badgdadi/ Twitter

An Arab Spring activist has accused the Twitter micro-blogging site of suspending his account after administrators mistook him for the leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iyad El-Baghdadi, who has more than 70,000 Twitter followers and frequently mocks the IS, said his account was suspended for about half-an-hour after he was misidentified as ISIS leader Baghdadi in Indonesian newspaper Republika and the New York Post, BBC reported on Friday.

“To confuse an Arab man for the IS leader because of his very Arabic common surname is overt racism, @twitter,” he wrote on his account.

El-Baghdadi said he received a message from Twitter saying he had “violated” its rules but did not specify the offence.

The activist, who also researches radicalisation, said the company needed to be “more transparent” about why and how people are suspended.

Recently, Iyad El-Baghdadi  was in news because he mocked ISIS leader’s call for people to join the outfit.

Meanwhile, Twitter has not commented on the issue yet.

In a fresh bid to combat abusive behaviour, micro-blogging site Twitter is also revising its rules to tackle hateful conduct including spreading of terror messages online.

“We believe that protection from abuse and harassment is a vital part of empowering people to freely express themselves on Twitter,” Megan Cristina, director, trust and safety at Twitter, posted in a blog recently.

“The updated language emphasises that Twitter will not tolerate behaviour intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse,” she posted.

Over the past year, Twitter has taken several steps to fight abuse in order to protect freedom of expression.It has empowered users with tools for blocking, muting and reporting abusive behaviour.

(With inputs from IANS)

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