This year, Twitter has made it part of its mission statement to finally crack down on the trolls and alt-right supremacists that populate the platform and give it a bad name.
New rules regarding abuse and hateful conduct on the platform came into force on Monday 18 December
Timeline for US tech giants
- April 1, 2020
- February 24, 2020
The platform said:
“You also may not affiliate with organisations that — whether by their own statements or activity both on and other the platform — use or promote violence against civilians to further their cause.”
And it’s already paying off: Twitter’s share price is currently at the highest it’s been all year following the changes.
Here is everyone who has been banned from Twitter this year
1. Donald Trump
Technically not banned and also technically not a decision made by Twitter. But for a whole 11 minutes in 2017, the US president Donald Trump was deactivated on the platform.
For that blissful 11 minute period, there was no tweeting from the president about threatening North Korea with nuclear war, or damaging transgender rights with a military ban, or slut-shaming Democrat senators.
It was wonderful.
It turns out an employee deactivated @realdonaldtrump by accident on his final day in the office. He later said it was a mistake. Shame.
2. Britain First leaders
In the UK, no one paid much attention to the radical far-right party Britain First. This all changed when Trump retweeted three videos from the deputy leader, Jayda Fransen.
This propelled Britain First into the international arena, but don’t worry, as the leaders have been banned from Twitter now.
Fransen, and the official leader Paul Golding are no longer allowed on Twitter, as well as the @BritainFirstHQ twitter account.
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— Resisting Hate (@ResistingHate) December 18, 2017
However, you can still keep up with Britain First’s activities on Facebook. The group’s page has nearly 2m followers.
3. Jared Taylor and American Renaissance
If you’ve never heard of Jared Taylor before, you’re not missing out. He is a known white nationalist and white supremacist. He also publishes American Renaissance, a magazine which is focused on “race, intelligence, and eugenics”, according to Newsweek.
He’s been banned as well, alongside American Renaissance.
4. The Traditionalist Workers Party
One of the US’s neo-Nazi parties, the Traditionalist Workers Party, was part of Twitter’s recent ban.
The party was formed in 2013 before establishing itself as a political party in 2015. A small number of its candidates stood in the 106 elections, though to no avail, fortunately.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) which monitors hate groups, says:
“The traditionalist Worker Party is a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserve its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organisations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views.”
5. Baked Alaska
Tim Gionet, aka Baked Alaska, is a known white supremacist on the internet, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year.
He was prominent in the pro-Trump camp online as well as marching at Charlottesville, the white supremacist march that saw one anti-racism campaigner killed by a member of the alt-right.
It may seem like a victory that alt-right figures are being banned from Twitter. However, those perpetuating alt-right views like Baked Alaska are simply moving to different platforms, such as gab.ai, an alt-right invite-only social network according to The Daily Beast.
6. Martin Shkreli
The Pharma bro who was once dubbed “the most hated man in the US” was banned from Twitter earlier this year for sexually harassing the journalist Lauren Duca.
Speaking about the harassment, Duca told The Verge:
“Marin Shreli is engaged in targeted harassment and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended. It’s unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he’s relatively high-profile.
“Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That’s something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper.”
7. Russian troll accounts
A total of 2,752 Russian troll accounts were taken offline following Twitter’s internal investigation into the Russian Internet Research Agency. The accounts put out around 131,000 tweets from September 2016 to November 2016 in order to promote pro-Russian government position.
This isn’t included the number of bot accounts Twitter found. Around 36,746 bot accounts were found to have sent 1.4m tweets in the same time frame.
8. Roger Stone
One of Trump’s biggest allies, Roger Stone, was banned from Twitter following his attacks on CNN journalists.
He tweeted that a CNN anchor, Don Lemon, was “dumber than dog sh–” and deserved to be mocked and punished. The attacks followed reports saying special prosecutor Robert Mueller was getting close to launching an indictment in the Trump-Russia investigation.
The former Trump campaign manager told Politico that the “battle against free speech has just begun”.
9. Rose Mcgowan
The Charmed actor was briefly suspended from Twitter earlier this year. Mcgowan has been central to the sexual harassment allegations against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
However, she reportedly tweeted a private phone number, which violated Twitter’s terms of service.
A few hours later, her account was back in service and she has been using the platform to offer support to people using #MeToo as well as calling out the suspected perpetrators.