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Andy Ngo was suspended from Twitter on Monday over a tweet about transgender and Black people.
“The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population,” Ngo wrote on Nov. 20. “Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.”
Ngo’s response to Chelsea Clinton’s tweet about the “epidemic” of murders of trans people, most of whom are black women, got him booted from the site for 12 hours. According to screenshots circulating on the platform, Ngo was prohibited from tweeting, but his account remained live and he could use other features, such as direct messaging.
Twitter told Ngo that his tweet violated the rule against “hateful conduct,” which prohibits abusive or threatening speech directed towards people on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, etc. Twitter didn’t identify which part of Ngo’s tweet was the basis for the suspension. Twitter declined to comment on the matter.
Ngo told the Post Millennial, where he is editor-at-large, “Stating a verifiable empirical claim with no value judgment attached is determined to be ‘hateful conduct’ by Twitter. The platform most used by journalists to communicate and counter ‘fake news’ also actively punishes individuals for communicating truths when they are deemed politically inconvenient.”
To protest, Ngo’s fans are tweeting the statement that got him suspended along with the hashtag #AndyNgoChallenge.
FACT: The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate for trans people is lower than the rate for non-trans. And behind the trans murders? Mostly black men. #AndyNgoChallenge— Bartholom Winchester (@bartwaggoner200) November 27, 2019
It would be a shame if everyone copied this text and tweeted it @Jack— ╰_╯Ťhę Æpêx╰_╯ (@Apex_Haxor) November 27, 2019
The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.#AndyNgoChallenge pic.twitter.com/AdcBQmoYRF
.@jack The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.#AndyNgoChallenge— @binaryjc (@JCCorbin2) November 27, 2019
Is it true that @jack objected to @MrAndyNgo saying the US is one of the safest countries for trans people? And that the murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for the "cis" population? And that black men commit most of those killings?#AndyNgoChallenge— MARY MARGARET JONES⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@LoveCovfefe2020) November 27, 2019
Ngo’s friends in conservative media also jumped to his defense.
The Washington Times claimed that Ngo was suspended for “stating without rancor that trans murder rates were low.” The Federalist, a story from which was reportedly the basis for Ngo’s statement, complained that he was “suspended for reporting facts.” Many experts believe that both the number of trans people and the rate of violence against and murder of trans people are under- or misreported because of misidentification, dead-naming, and people being closeted.
Other of Ngo’s supporters responded in kind.
“Stating a verifiable empirical claim is hateful? Unbelievable. ALL HE DID WAS TWEET THE DATA,” Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson tweeted angrily.
Ngo has repeatedly been accused of supporting the far-right, as evidenced by undercover footage that showed him laughing while Patriot Prayer planned a violent attack in Portland, Oregon and his smear of a recently-deceased activist who was mean to him. He’s been heavily criticized for releasing misleading, selectively edited videos to prop up the far-right and slander the left.
Andy Ngo was temporarily suspended today by Twitter for a racist and transphobic tweet.— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) November 26, 2019
Andy Ngo has a history of instigating violence against journalists and activists.
File a complaint here, asking @Patreon to follow @Twitter's lead, script below: https://t.co/B30hRNvjh2 pic.twitter.com/ONkyxq5J4t
Far-Right conspiracy grifter Andy Ngo has been temporarily suspended for tweeting: "The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” pic.twitter.com/6wPOqaOpYT— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) November 25, 2019
Ngo appealed the suspension and was denied. According to the Post Millennial, his account remains in limbo until he logs in and complies with Twitter’s instructions.
This story has been updated.
Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.