Twitter has banned right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform after he posted messages seen as encouraging harassment of ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.
The technology editor for Breitbart does not appear to have tweeted abuse at the actress himself, who has herself left Twitter.
But in one message about her he said: “If at first you don’t succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim. EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS.”
Twitter said in a 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.”
Yiannopoulos told Breit Breitbart: “With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.”
“Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber’s fans cut themselves on his behalf?
“Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot.
“This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”
Yiannopoulos had more than 338,000 followers.
Twitter threatened Yiannopoulos with suspension earlier this year and removed his blue tick verified status as an apparent punishment.
Yiannopoulus speculated to Press Gazette at the time that he has been targeted because he his right-wing and he makes jokes about feminists on his Twitter account. He said that many of his posts could be deemed offensive, but that they are just jokes.
One Twitter message said: “Grindr has taken $93m from the Chinese – the only people no one wants to fuck on Grindr”.
Yiannapoulous told @comfortablysmug: “You deserve to be harassed you social justice loser”, to which @comfortablysmug replied: “Milo could you tell your creepy weirdo misogynist followers to maybe take a shower and get a life instead of harass me online?”.
Yiannapoulos told Press Gazette at the time: “Voltaire was a troll by today’s standards as are the guys behind South Park.
“The more fundamental question is why are Twitter using a mechanism designed to verify the identification of public figures as a form of punishment.”