Twitter is starting to purge its "alt-right" users

Members of the "alt-right" are upset that Twitter's suspensions of hateful accounts may take down many of them

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 18, 2017 12:00PM (EST)

 (Getty/Bethany Clarke)
(Getty/Bethany Clarke)

Twitter seems to be making good on its promise to suspend users who are affiliated with hate groups and/or harassment, both on and off of the social media platform.

Twitter removed the account associated with the white supremacist group American Renaissance and the far right group Britain First, according to Recode. Although their overall stated goal is to "reduce hateful and abusive content on Twitter," according to a blog post published by Twitter on Monday, their policy has inevitably had a disproportionate impact on accounts associated with the "alt-right."

People whose accounts have been kicked off Twitter include Jayda Fransen, the Britain First leader whose anti-Muslim videos were retweeted by Trump earlier this month, as well as American Renaissance Editor Jared Taylor, according to Newsweek. They have also removed accounts associated with the Traditionalist Worker Party, which is a neo-Nazi group, and Occidental Dissent, which is a white nationalist group.

Twitter users are taking notice.

Many past "alt-right" figures who were kicked off of Twitter have since begun using a similar social media platform known as Gab. On Monday, an editor for American Renaissance posted on Gab to denounce Twitter's actions.

"In case there was any doubt about Twitter's motivations, on both this account and @jartaylor, we were very careful never to post anything that could be construed as violating Twitter's terms of service, and we were in compliance with the new ones also. This is pure, politically motivated censorship," Gab claimed.

Yet as Recode pointed out, Twitter has made it clear that it is not targeting "alt-right" and neo-Nazi accounts specifically. Because those political groups tend to be more likely to engage in hateful or abusive behavior, however, they are more likely to have violated Twitter's terms of service.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Alt Right Alt Right Purge Alt Right Trolls Donald Trump Twitter