Twitter Purges Alt-Right Accounts


Twitter has reportedly suspended a number of accounts associated with the "alt-right" movement.

Known members of the white nationalist group that championed Donald Trump's run for the White House were kicked off the social network on Tuesday—the same day Twitter rolled out anti-harassment tools to address online bullying.

The purge, according to USA Today, included Richard Spencer, 38-year-old president of the National Policy Institute, who once called for the removal of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Jews from the US.

In a video titled Knight of Long Knives (a reference to the 1934 mass murder of Nazi leaders by Adolf Hitler), Spencer calls Twitter's move "corporate Stalinism."

"I was using Twitter the same way I always use Twitter," he said, claiming that he and other banned users "were not even trolling."

"What this leads me to believe is that there was some kind of coordinated effort to just wipe out alt-right Twitter," he added.

Spencer's personal account (@RichardBSpencer) was pulled, alongside the National Policy Institute (@npiamerica) think tank and Washington Summit Publishers (@washsummit) publishing firm he runs.

Twitter did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment. But the company told USA Today that "Twitter Rules prohibit targeted abuse and harassment, and we will suspend accounts that violate this policy." USA Today also reported a handful of other blocked users, including Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn, John Rivers, and New Order.

In January, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos—who has also been linked to the alt-right—was stripped of his account verification after reportedly telling another user that she "deserved to be harassed." Six months later, Twitter permanently banned Yiannopoulos for his role in the online harassment of actress and comedian Leslie Jones.

A user on Tuesday, meanwhile, directed Twitter's attention to a promoted tweet from New Order—a website propagating Nazism in the 21st Century—publicizing a news article about "White America."

"I can't believe anything still surprises me, but why the f**k am I seeing Nazi ads on this website?" Ariana Lenarsky tweeted. The New Order account has since been suspended.

The move comes just as the social network extended its "mute" feature, allowing users to block keywords, phrases, and entire conversations from their notifications.

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