People on the right are complaining that the so-called 'Twitter purge,' where a number of fringe accounts are being suspended, defies their free speech.

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The far-right is freaking out about the so-called ‘Twitter purge’

Many are saying that the purge is defying free speech.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Dec 18, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 7:37 am CDT

On Monday, Twitter began suspending accounts according to its updated terms of service in what quickly became known as the “Twitter purge.”

The first account people noticed suspended was Jayda Fransen‘s, the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right ultra-nationalist group that gained notoriety in the United States after President Donald Trump retweeted several anti-Muslim videos she posted.

However, the number of accounts suspended reached far beyond Fransen. Several white nationalists were also suspended on Monday. The new rules are aimed at accounts that push hateful messaging or make threats based on race, ethnicity, sexual identity or other factors.

The changes were announced last month, but on Monday the company started enforcing the new rules. They now cover: “violence and physical harm,” and users who have “hateful imagery” or who have profiles that include “violent threat[s] or multiple slurs, epithets, racist or sexist tropes, incites fear, or reduces someone to less than human,” the company said in a blog post.

Perhaps the most prominent right-wing figure suspended was Jared Taylor, who ran a site called the American Renaissance, which is considered a white supremacy site.

In a post on his site, Taylor said he never violated any rules.

In a blog posted today, Twitter said it has begun enforcing new rules against “hateful and abusive content,” American Renaissance and Jared Taylor violate none of those rules. Anyone familiar with our work recognizes that we present our dissident political views with civility. We have never even hinted at anything that could be seen as condoning violence or illegality, nor do we associate with those who do.

The “purge” has led many right-wing users suspecting they are being targeted or having their “free speech” threatened.

When pressed by Taylor about the suspension, Twitter responded to say that his account “will not be restored.”

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*First Published: Dec 18, 2017, 3:20 pm CST