- The Washington Times
Friday, December 2, 2022

Twitter booted rapper Ye off its platform after he published an image of a swastika combined with the Star of David, testing the limits of allowable speech on the social media platform under Elon Musk’s ownership. 

The artist, formerly known as Kanye West, faced a Twitter suspension earlier this year over antisemitic posts, but Mr. Musk decided to forcefully pull the plug this week. 

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter Friday. “Account will be suspended.”

Ye’s swastika post came after he praised Hitler in an interview with Alex Jones, a prominent conspiracy theorist whom Mr. Musk has kept off Twitter. 

The rapper’s antisemitic remarks made in recent weeks have led to his suspension from other platforms and caused companies such as Adidas to sever ties with him

The social media website Parler on Thursday said it too cut connections with Ye after announcing in October a plan to turn the alternative microblogging platform over to the rapper. 

“Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” Parler said via its @parler_app account on Twitter. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”

Mr. Musk’s decision to kick the rapper off his platform represented a major early test of how the new Twitter owner would impose rules restricting speech. 

Twitter published a blog post on Wednesday regarding “Twitter 2.0” that said the company had not changed its policies, though it had embraced public experimentation of new approaches. 

“Our Trust & Safety team continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior and any violation of Twitter’s rules,” read Twitter’s blog post. “The team remains strong and well-resourced, and automated detection plays an increasingly important role in eliminating abuse.”

Mr. Musk has faced criticism from Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, over his new approach.

Mr. Roth, who exited Twitter after Mr. Musk’s arrival, said at a Knight Foundation conference this week that Twitter did not have enough knowledgeable people remaining to stop malicious campaigns online that required human intervention instead of machine learning solutions. 

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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