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Twitter withdraws ban on "Mohammed" post of German politician Sawsan Chebli



On May 4 Sawsan Chebli, a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Berlin State Secretary, posted a tweet that was later deleted by Twitter for allegedly violating the platform's new rules regarding election manipulation.

"My father's name was Mohammed. My name is Sawsan Mohammed Chebli. My oldest nephew's name is Mohammed. My niece gave her son her grandfather's name. Shortly: We will make sure that this name never disappears!" wrote Chebli on her Twitter profile. 


Her tweet was expressly directed at the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The AfD has called asylum and immigration an "existential threat to European civilization." The party claims that "Islam does not belong to Germany."

Chebli's Tweet included a picture of an AfD election poster featuring a child with a long beard. "Berlin: Is Islamization not happening? Mohammed is now the most popular name," the poster read.

Recently the German newspaper Bild published an article claiming that Mohammed is the most popular name in Berlin


Twitter deleted Chebli's tweet and temporarily locked her account. Chebli appealed against the decision.

Twitter contacted the SPD politician and explained the reason why her account had been locked: "We have come to the conclusion that this tweet violates the Twitter rules, specifically: violation against our rules about the publication of misleading information about elections," Twitter stated.

Chebli told the German news agency dpa: "Like many other people I, too, often report tweets that are racist, hateful or threatening towards me and others. Nothing happens. My tweet violates nothing." She further criticized the use of filters to automatically detect violations of Twitter rules. 

Chebli's appeal seems to have been successful, as her previously deleted tweet is now visible and her account has been reactivated.



"Yeah! I'm back! And people even missed me. You're so sweet! Thanks for your solidarity," Chebli wrote. 

In April 2019 Twitter rolled out new rules to protect the "integrity of elections."


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