David Duke, of the country’s most well-known white supremacists, has finally been banned from Twitter.
The company decided to permanently suspend former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke on Thursday, after he violated its hateful conduct policy multiple times.
“The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct,” a spokesperson confirmed with Rolling Stone. “This enforcement action is in line with our recently-updated guidance on harmful links.”
This move follows YouTube’s decision last month to ban Duke and other far-right content creators for promoting hate speech, according to The Verge. Rolling Stone and CNN report that Duke had been tweeting COVID-19 conspiracy theories along with anti-Semitic and racist content. This also comes after Twitter’s recent decision to purge QAnon conspiracy accounts.
There’s no need to rehash Duke’s life-long history of racist violence, Neo-Nazi rhetoric, Holocaust denial, and overt support of modern white supremacist movements. Considering Duke’s horrific rise to prominence, as explained in the fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn podcast, it’s inevitable and unquestionable that he become de-platformed on every level.
Duke was briefly suspended in 2017, but like other tech companies, Twitter dragged its feet when it came to fact-checking content and cracking down on hate speech. The company finally updated its hateful conduct policy back in March, prohibiting posts that “promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people” based on identity.
Unfortunately, the move is merely a starting line, and the buck doesn’t stop with Duke.
“Twitter, and other social media companies and message boards, still have a lot of work to do to clean up their platforms and stop the spread of hateful ideologies and propaganda,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement regarding Twitter’s decision. “David Duke is just a start, but there are still many others.”
We don’t know what took Twitter so long, but we’re happy they’re finally taking *some* action to control the spread of hate and misinformation.