Kanye West is suspended from Twitter after posting a swastika
By John Yoon
SAN FRANCISCO – Elon Musk, Twitter’s chief executive, said late Thursday (Dec 1) that Kanye West would be suspended from Twitter after the rapper and fashion designer tweeted an image of a swastika inside the Star of David. Musk said the post violated the social media outlet’s rule against the incitement of violence.
The tweet was deleted shortly before West’s account became no longer accessible. His page was soon replaced with a label: ‘Account suspended’.
So continued the controversy stirred by West — who goes by Ye — and his string of antisemitic remarks on social media. Instagram blocked him from posting after he suggested on the platform that Sean Combs, the rapper known as Diddy, was being controlled by Jewish people. Ye has also lashed out against Jewish people via Twitter.
The indefinite Twitter suspension happened on the same day that Ye had appeared on a podcast hosted by the Infowars conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones, during which he told Jones, “I like Hitler”.
The swastika tweet was part of a series of posts that included praise for Balenciaga, the French luxury brand that terminated its professional relationship with Ye in October because of his antisemitic comments. Balenciaga, which had partnered with Ye on runway shows and other fashion projects, has recently faced its own controversy in the form of allegations that it condoned child exploitation.
Before his suspension, Ye had also tweeted an unflattering photograph of Musk being hosed down on a yacht.
“This is fine,” Musk tweeted in response to the image. “This is not,” he wrote in regard to the swastika post, confirming Ye’s suspension.
“He again violated our rule against incitement to violence,” Musk added. “Account will be suspended.”
Twitter had restricted the account used by Ye in October after he posted an antisemitic tweet, which Twitter also removed. Users of restricted accounts cannot post or interact on the platform, but unlike with suspensions, their past tweets that did not violate the company’s rules remain visible on the service.
After being locked out from Twitter, Ye had agreed to buy Parler, a social media outlet popular with right-wing audiences. On Thursday, the company said that it had “mutually agreed with Ye” to end his deal to buy it.
Ye’s restriction on Twitter was lifted by Oct. 29, an action that Musk said Twitter had taken before he acquired the company.
Musk has said his approach to content moderation is: “If in doubt, let the speech exist.” He has also said that Twitter would be “forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.”
He has reinstated accounts that had been suspended for pushing misinformation, including those of former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. He has also said he would offer “amnesty” to accounts suspended by the company’s previous leadership.
-New York Times