It Only Took Twitter 11 Years to Ban Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke

Credit to Author: Trone Dowd| Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:38:36 +0000

David Duke is gone from Twitter.

The social media platform has permanently shut down the account of the 70-year-old white supremacist, former Louisiana legislator and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (1974-1980). He’d joined the platform in 2009.

"[Duke] has been permanently suspended for Twitter Rules on hateful conduct," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to CNET Thursday night.

The rules, which bar the promotion of violence or harassment against groups and individuals based on their race, ethnicity, nationality sexual orientation, gender, and more, were unsurprisingly violated by Duke numerous times, according to the spokesperson.

Though Twitter did not clarify what Duke posted to earn himself the permanent ban, the Washington Post reports he recently shared anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including an interview with Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf and false claims that the “Jewish media” had plans to incite violence against white Americans. Duke also shared misinformation about the spread of COVID-19, calling Americans who refuse to wear masks in public “the real heroes.”

Duke had over 53,000 followers on Twitter as of Thursday.

Twitter users were ecstatic to see the proud racist leave the platform.

Duke was just suspended from YouTube in June, alongside the likes of Canadian white nationalist Stefan Molyneux and alt-right leader Richard Spencer.

Like many other social media platforms, Twitter has long struggled with policing harmful speech online. But since 2017, Twitter has slowly ramped up efforts to find and punish users for harmful and discriminatory information on its website.

Since the start of the pandemic, however, Twitter hasn’t been afraid to bring down the hammer on people who violate its new anti-hate guidelines or contribute to the spread of fake news. In the last month alone, the website has deleted over 7,000 accounts associated with the Q-Anon conspiracy movement, suspended the account of Donald Trump Jr. for tweeting false information about COVID-19, and suspended the accounts of several Black celebrities for disseminating false and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Even President Trump has felt some pressure from the Twitter crackdown. In June, Twitter publicly flagged a tweet from the president as “manipulated media” in order to prevent the spread of a digitally altered video.

Cover: Former Louisiana State Representative David Duke arrives to give remarks after a white nationalist protest was declared an unlawful assembly, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. (Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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