Nick Fuentes, the controversial far-right firebrand, was suspended from Twitter on Friday.
Unsurprisingly, Media Matters chew toy Al Kaplan broke the news of the suspension. A Twitter spokesman, Trenton Kennedy, told the New York Times that Fuentes ‘was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.’ Cockburn is annoyed by the terminology; suspension inherently means temporary. Twitter should classify it as a permanent ban. Put down the DMT and stop playing with the clockwork elves, Jack. Finish up grammar school.
The spokesperson would not detail which specific rules he violated: ‘This is all I can share right now — thanks for understanding.’ No problem buddy, take your time.
The suspension came a day after the Anti-Defamation League published a piece called ‘Nicholas J. Fuentes: Five Things to Know.’ According to the ADL, Fuentes leads the ‘groypers’, a ‘bigoted’ right-wing online cult, and is a ‘prominent white supremacist pundit and organizer who has united disparate groups within what was until recently known as the alt right’.
An ADL spokesperson told Cockburn: ‘It is about time that Twitter did the right thing in permanently removing white nationalist Nick Fuentes from the platform. As documented in our new report, Fuentes and his “Groyper Army” have used social media to attempt to bring their racist, anti-Semitic and extremist views into the mainstream. There’s no doubt that his extreme rhetoric was a violation of Twitter’s rules.’
Hours after the ban-hammer fell, Fuentes and his supporters blamed the organization. ‘The ADL published a report on me and then I was permanently suspended hours later,’ Fuentes told his followers on Telegram.
But Cockburn understands that the ADL had flagged Fuentes and the Groyper Army to Twitter’s ‘trusted flagger system’ and their policy team in January. At the time, Twitter had explained to them that Fuentes was not in violation of their rules.
Fuentes has also been kicked off Facebook, Instagram, Apple Podcasts, TikTok, Discord, Clubhouse, Spotify and DLive. Financial services apps like Venmo, Patreon, Airbnb, Shopify, Amazon Web Services, Stripe, Streamlabs and Coinbase have exiled him too. Twitter was his last leg in mainstream social media.
Surprisingly, some conservatives who have publicly feuded with Fuentes and accused him of Holocaust denial were the first to defend him.
Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance said: ‘Nick Fuentes has been a giant troll (and IMO dishonest) in his attacks against me. Don’t care. Tech companies control what we’re allowed to say in our own country. It has to stop.’
Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro took the opportunity to call out the platform’s inconsistencies by claiming, ‘Nick Fuentes is a garbage person with garbage beliefs. Twitter is also filled with lots of garbage people with garbage beliefs. Only certain people get banned. Nobody should trust Twitter’s supposed free speech neutrality.’
Tiana Lowe, one of many female Washington Examiner commentary writers to meet with Fuentes’s wrath, told Cockburn: ‘It’s unclear why exactly Twitter pulled the trigger on Fuentes. Yes, he’s a vile racist, but he’s spent years spewing venom on that site, including towards yours truly! What was it specifically that he did now? Using the platform to help organize the Capitol storming, as he did, would seem like a fairly valid reason to ban him. But if it’s just because an ADL report illustrated what we’ve all known forever, that seems like a grossly arbitrary decision that sets a very risky precedent for Twitter’s standing as an open platform.
‘Twitter has a ridiculous consistency problem — Fuentes, a piece of human debris but one who nonetheless lives in his mother’s basement, is considered so dangerous that he can’t shitpost on the can, but actual genocide enablers from the Chinese Communist party are allowed to openly share propaganda? Horseshit.’
Fanaticism won’t die with Fuentes’s tweets, neither will censorship; it will grow while conservatives leaders stand adrift banging on about ‘Big Tech’. As Spectator contributor Charlie Nash puts it, ‘social networks aren’t interesting anymore. Email, fax machines and postal networks are the way to go. Revisiting “old” tech could be the way into the future!’