Twitter has suspended a number of accounts linked with the alt-right movement after announcing new features and policy changes in a bid to combat abuse on the platform.
The alt-right is a loosely defined group of right-wingers who reject mainstream conservatism. Among the accounts that were suspended is that of Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute think tank.
“Twitter is trying to airbrush the alt-right out of existence,” he told the site. “They’re clearly afraid. They will fail!”
The Institute’s account (@npiamerica) and his online magazine (@radixjournal) were also suspended. On its website, the Institute says it is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States.”
In a YouTube video entitled “Knight of the Long Knives,” a reference to Hitler’s 1934 purge of Nazi leaders, Spencer said “digitally speaking” there has been “execution squads across the alt-right”.
“There is a great purge going on and they are purging people based on their views,” he said.
Other suspended accounts were Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers.
The suspension comes after President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial decision to name Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist.
Bannon, the executive chairman of ultra-conservative news site Breitbart, was hired in August to become Trump’s campaign CEO.
A number of critics have denounced him as a racist and a white supremacist.
Twitter’s new features include a “mute” function that looks to help users control what they see.
The updates attempt to combat abuse on Twitter, a problem that reached a crescendo during the election season. The issue of abuse on Twitter had built up over years, with a growing body of data showing the severity of the problem.