Social media platform Twitter has permanently suspended conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos after ‘Ghostbusters’ star Leslie Jones reported a series of racist, misogynist and offensive tweets against her, provoked by the commenter and his followers.
On Monday, Milo Yiannopoulos, tech editor at Breitbart and well-known internet troll, encouraged his followers on Twitter to go against actress Leslie Jones after referring to her as “spectacularly unappealing” on a ‘Ghostbusters’ review. Hundreds of tweets with racist and abusive messages, such as insults and even offensive ape photos, addressed to the actress left her “with tears and a very sad heart”, as she said when announcing she was leaving Twitter.
After several previous warnings to Yiannopoulos for inappropriate behavior on the microblogging website, Twitter confirmed on Tuesday that his account, username @nero, had been banned once again, but it is definitive this time. A photo of the suspension notice was posted on Breitbart.
“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others,” Twitter wrote in a statement addressed to various news media.
Jones and her supporters reported several accounts, and Twitter suspended many of them. When the permanent suspension of Yiannopoulos’ account -with over 338,000 followers- was announced, advocates reacted with the hashtags #FreeMilo and #FreeNero.
Yiannopoulos described his suspension as ‘political’
When ABC News reached the conservative writer for comment, he insisted that he did nothing wrong, except sharing his opinions. He said that Twitter suspended his account without explanation or any evidence of wrongdoing.
He commented on a Breitbart report that while Twitter still ignores the presence of “Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists,” the company seems to aim only to conservatives that threaten its particular -and “leftist”, as he addressed them- points of view and ideas. “This is political, plain and simple,” he added.
During the digital attack, Jones took the time to expose most of the offensive tweets and photos that were sent to her before blocking the respective users. She also complained to Twitter over their guidelines on free speech. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey got in touch with her to let her know that they were aware of the situation.
Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that. You can see on the
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
The event has generated polemic and criticism over what Twitter considers “abusive behavior.” The company reacted in a statement Wednesday, saying that people are right when they affirm that Twitter has not done enough to stop abusive content and behavior on the platform. However, they are working on tools that will help them identify faster and more efficiently any signal of offensive conduct.
Source: ABC News