Breitbart Troll Milo Yiannopoulos Has Officially Been Kicked Off Twitter
Following the horrendous online harassment suffered by Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones, Twitter has elected to suspend the account of GamerGater and professional troll Milo Yiannopoulos. Permanently. Tuesday night, Twitter pulled the plug on Milo Yiannopoulos, a guy who goes around trolling people on the Internet when he's not writing tech articles for conservative website Breitbart, according to BuzzFeed News. Yiannopoulos has faced temporary suspensions several times before. Notably, an attack from Yiannopoulos is not just him; it's his legions of followers that come after his targets, too.
Twitter provided the following statement:
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. Over the past 48 hours in particular, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension. We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders. We have been in the process of reviewing our hateful conduct policy to prohibit additional types of abusive behavior and allow more types of reporting, with the goal of reducing the burden on the person being targeted. We’ll provide more details on those changes in the coming weeks.
Many of the insults hurled at Jones were racist and sexist in nature. Some compared her to a gorilla, including Harambe, the gorilla that was shot when a child fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. And it wasn't just a few here and there; Jones was bombarded with them until the actress and comedian decided she'd be better off leaving Twitter for a while. Let's not forget that all of this hate was directed at Jones because she is a black woman who starred in a movie about ghosts that some men believe is sacred to their childhood, but only if it was made in 1984 and only stars men.
Yiannopoulos who is, naturally, at the RNC in Cleveland for a 'Gays for Trump' event announced his suspension after receiving an email from Twitter telling them of their plans.
He told BuzzFeed, "[Twitter] made a very dumb decision right before I had the eyes of the world media on me. I think they're going to come to regret it. Anyone who believes in free speech was sent a very powerful message today, which is that you're not welcome on Twitter."
According to Quartz, he also claimed this move revealed Twitter as "a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives."
Breibart also babbled on about free speech and claimed that Twitter "has demonstrated an unashamed bias towards progressive causes like Black Lives Matter, ignoring open calls for violence against police officers that emerged following both the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings." Brietbart previously declared the end was near for Twitter back in January when the platform removed Yiannopoulos' verified status, claiming Twitter was "at war" with conservatives. It was unclear why his blue checkmark was removed, but Buzzfeed indicated it might have been because he told someone they deserved to be harassed.
People seem to forget that free speech means you will not be arrested for the things that you say, supposing those things are not illegal like violent threats or the prime example of yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater. However, it does not mean people have to tolerate your crap on their platforms or that you won't face consequences—such as everyone thinking you are a jerk and not inviting you to parties. It's kind of like how you can't arrest people for posting contrarian or annoying malarkey on your all your Facebook statuses, but you can unfriend or block them. In that regard, Twitter has every right to delete people who are constantly filling up its feed with hatred.