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World's Direction/Flickr (Public Domain)
Many are saying that the purge is defying free speech.
On Monday, Twitter began suspending accounts according to its updated terms of service in what quickly became known as the “Twitter purge.”
The much talked about “Twitter purge” happens at 9am ET. This is going to be interesting.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 18, 2017
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.
Everyone's saying, "Wow, Jared Taylor got banned despite never trolling or suggesting violence!"
Jared got banned BECAUSE he never trolled or suggested violence
A calm, well-spoken, genteel man saying the "wrong" ideas is far more terrifying to the Left than trolls are
— Matt Semite (@MattsOurSemite) December 18, 2017
Hey @TwitterSafety you are on the wrong side of history. Censorship of of those fighting #WhiteGenocide is morally wrong. People standing up to the destruction of their own culture and genetics are not going to be silenced. #TwitterPurge #ItsOkayToBeWhite
— Jack Burton (@AwokenDaddy) December 18, 2017
Man Twitter better not kill all my favorite accounts… Free speech is our rights as an American!!!
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🦅🔫🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸#Twitterpurge #TwitterHatesWhitePeople #Twitterati#TwitterCensorship https://t.co/QUKNj4CV3n
— Damon Doafer Thompson (@DoaferThompson) December 18, 2017
So it has begun. Twitter is now purging any speech that it finds offensive. A number of accounts that I follow have been suspended for sharing their ideas and opinions. The Left & its acolytes are the enemies of freedom. They must be stopped. #TwitterPurge
— GT Page (@coachgtpage) December 18, 2017
If Jared Taylor can get purged
Anyone one of us can.
Its proof #twitter doesn't do this for its rules and terms
but expressely political
Its an agenda its pushing #TwitterPurge
— NotATypicalTory (@NotaTypicalTory) December 18, 2017
— Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen (@bosswizard1984) December 18, 2017
Twitter acts likes it’s a privilege to be able to use their trash platform. I say mass exodus from Twitter, @POTUS it’s time to move, the banning and leftist bullshit is out of control.#TwitterCensorship #TwitterPurge #TwitterExodus pic.twitter.com/RPpMZRe03a
— Body Bageler (@bodybageler) December 18, 2017
None of you cheering the #TwitterPurge and claiming to be conservatives have an ounce of principle.
Celebrating the continued erosion of conservative values by corporate Marxism, and the privatization of tyranny is not conservative nor principled.
— Notorious Augusto P (@GenAugustoP) December 18, 2017
Unless you are a Liberal looney… pic.twitter.com/TkCLmrnguw
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) December 18, 2017
As of now, I don't see any systematic method to the #TwitterPurge. I've lost more than a hundred followers in 24 hrs, but lots of pro-White accounts, even shit-lordy ones, remain. @jartaylor got purged, but not @Steve_Sailer, @vdare, @TOOEdit , et al. Haphazard.
— Richard ⛷️ Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) December 18, 2017
When pressed by Taylor about the suspension, Twitter responded to say that his account “will not be restored.”
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).