Friday 9 December 2016

Twitter bans conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos following racist abuse of Ghostbusters star

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 20/07/2016 | 14:27

Milo Yiannopoulos. Photo: Instagram
Milo Yiannopoulos. Photo: Instagram
Leslie Jones arriving at the LA premiere of Ghostbusters - the star has suffered horrific racist abuse on Twitter (AP)

Twitter has permanently suspended the account of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos for his role in the racist online abuse of Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.

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Tweeting from the handle @Nero, Yiannopoulos had more than 338,000 followers and was known for his controversial right-wing views.

He has been temporarily suspended in the past, and had his verified account status revoked due to repeated violations of the platform’s terms of service.

Earlier this week, he incited his followers to bombard SNL actress Leslie Jones with abusive tweets about her role in Ghostbusters reboot.

Leslie Jones arriving at the LA premiere of Ghostbusters - the star has suffered horrific racist abuse on Twitter (AP)
Leslie Jones arriving at the LA premiere of Ghostbusters - the star has suffered horrific racist abuse on Twitter (AP)

After receiving hundreds of tweets, Jones posted a response: “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s*** I got today… wrong.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly reached out to Jones on Monday evening, and the next day Yiannopoulos’s account was suspended.

“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter,” Twitter said in a statement.

“But no one deserves to be subjects to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”

Yiannopolous is technology editor for Breitbart. In an interview with the site, he described his suspension as “cowardly” and accused Twitter of becoming a “no-go zone for conservatives”.

“This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter,” he said.

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