PROOF: Kassam Twitter Suspension Triggered By UK Law Enforcement Demand to Censor Journalism


The suspension of The National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam’s Twitter account appears to have been triggered by United Kingdom Law Enforcement insisting a factually accurate breaking news tweet was “in violation of UK law.”

Kassam – a British citizen – was suspended on June 23rd for tweeting the following:

BREAKING (GRAPHIC): Multiple people reported stabbed. Some reports of fatalities in vicinity of a Black Lives Matter protest in Reading, UK. [VIDEO]

According to an email from Twitter’s legal department the: “tweet is in violation of UK law.”

Email received by Kassam.

The email also provides no specification as to what law Kassam violated with his tweet, which reads as objective reporting on unfolding violence by a journalist.

Kassam is a four-year-long, dues-paying member of the independent, Chartered Institute of Journalists, the oldest journalists’ association in the world.

Twitter’s email warned of the social media platform’s decision to lock Kassam out of his account, adding: “Please note we may be obligated to take action regarding the content identified in the complaint in the future.”

It remains unclear if further steps will be taken.

The email also raises the question of the nature of Twitter’s relationship with law enforcement agencies around the world, including how it balances demands from countries such as the UK that lack the same free speech protections as the U.S.

And of all the issues plaguing the UK – child grooming gangs, acid attacks, honor killings, and terrorism – why is it choosing to focus on factual reporting on a social media platform?

While users can still see his account, Kassam cannot log in or share new content with his over 215,000 followers. According to the official Twitter complaint, Kassam allegedly violated Twitter’s proscriptions against sharing “content of deceased individuals” with either the “intent to abuse” or  being “excessively gory.”
Kassam reacted to the initial ban on The National Pulse:
“As a REAL news person, you deeply think about — every time — whether or not you’re showing something people don’t need to see. On balance I made the calculation that there was serious breaking news that would aid the public during a terror attack in England. This is the same thought people had when the shared the George Floyd video. They wanted people to know the truth and tweeted it. But for some reason, the Floyd death remains up on twitter but the deaths of three white men at the hands of a Libyan asylum seeker must come down? People can draw their own conclusions.”
He further added on Saturday: “Look at the real journalists vs the propagandists, throughout history. Only real truth tellers are silenced by the authorities. This is how you know I’m doing my job correctly, not just parroting the state line.”

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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