Twitter has suspended Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of far-right group Britain First, whose anti-Muslim videos caused a diplomatic storm when they were shared by Donald Trump last month.
Fransen's account was banned on Monday along with a number of other far-right individuals as the social media company introduced a new policy on hate speech.
The official Britain First Twitter account, that of its leader Paul Golding, the American white nationalist Jared Taylor and the American Nazi party were also suspended. Twitter has been repeatedly criticised for failing to crack down on abuse and hate speech online, but has vowed to do more in recent months.
In November, Fransen posted three unverified anti-Muslim videos including ones titled "Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!" and "Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!" They were retweeted by the US president, leading to international condemnation, including from Theresa May.
The incident threatened to imperil US-UK relations when Mr Trump then hit back at the Prime Minister. "Theresa, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!" he wrote at the time.
Today, we are starting to enforce updates to the Twitter Rules and media policy to reduce hateful conduct and abusive behavior https://t.co/yNHAMFcVwG— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) December 18, 2017
Suspending an account means all of their tweets are deleted. The profile itself is no longer available and the retweets no longer show up on Trump's timeline.
Twitter had been attacked not only because the accounts remained online, but because they were verified, receiving a blue tick that confirms their identity and has been seen as a mark of endorsement.
On Monday, Twitter started enforcing a new policy that bans incitements to violence and hateful images, and crucially takes into account an individual's offline behaviour, not merely what they post on Twitter. It said it would take an "aggressive" approach.
"Today, we are starting to enforce these policies across Twitter. In our efforts to be more aggressive here, we may make some mistakes and are working on a robust appeals process. We’ll evaluate and iterate on these changes in the coming days and weeks, and will keep you posted on progress along the way," Twitter said.