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Fathers for Justice face Twitter ban over campaign

A CAMPAIGN group has been threatened with being banned from a social networking site following ‘abusive’ comments that targeted a number of Hampshire politicians.

Romsey Advertiser: Fathers for Justice's Matt O'Connor Fathers for Justice's Matt O'Connor

Twitter has warned that the official Fathers 4 Justice (F4J) account and its founder Matt O’Connor could be suspended if the abusive behaviour continued towards the prominent figures, which include Southampton North and Romsey MP Caroline Nokes.

Fathers 4 Justice, which fights for dads’ custody rights, claims there is no evidence to suggest they had done anything wrong and accused Twitter of “political censorship”.

The group has accused the MP of breaching her 2010 pre-election promises to them over pressing for equal parenting rights following the breakdown of a relationship, which the MP had refuted.

The group say that they have a right to question why she, in their view, did not stick to promises she made to them and that they had a right to question whether it had anything to do with her recent divorce.

Campaign director Nadine O’Connor said: “Politics is a blood sport, you have to be prepared to face awkward questions and I think we have a right to ask them. We may be a bit more vocal about it but I think it is perfectly fair to hold someone to account.”

Mrs Nokes claimed comments had strayed from politics towards personal abuse and harassment. She said: “I refuse to allow a teenager’s living arrangements to become a political football for a campaign group supposedly committed to family rights.

“I repeatedly offered to help Fathers 4 Justice with the tabling of amendments for the Children and Families Bill, but none were forthcoming, just comments, which Twitter agreed constituted abuse and harassment. I am aware other political parties and individuals have also complained to Twitter and indeed to the police.

“I remain committed to improvements to the family justice system, which the Children and Families Bill goes some way towards delivering, and it is a pity F4J chose not to engage constructively with the deliberations of the Bill Committee.”

She complained to Twitter who, following their own investigation, threatened to pull the group’s account.

The warning from Twitter said the accounts would continue to be operational so long as the “abusive behaviour”

stopped.

If not, it said, it may lead to the accounts being permanently suspended.

Mrs O’- Connor added: “Twitter have been asked to provide evidence that we have broken their rules and so far they have not provided any.

“We can find no such evidence and regard these threats as political censorship of Twitter at the behest of a Tory politician.”

The Daily Echo understands that concerns have also been raised by other political activists in Hampshire but that these did not constitute part of the Twitter complaint.

Twitter said it did not comment on individual cases for privacy reasons.



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