As internet users might already know, using social media services like Twitter is similar to drug use in that they can be just as intoxicating to those of us who are constantly on them, to the point where it can and will disrupt our sleeping patterns — especially when it’s part of the job. And just like a drug, you won’t know how much you’ll miss it until it’s taken away, which is what happened to Milo Yiannopoulous last Tuesday when his Twitter access was snatched from him.
Many reports about conservative provocateur, social terrorist, and alt-right Breitbart heavyweight Milo Yiannopoulos say that he has been permanently banned from Twitter for his role in trolling Leslie Jones over her part in the new Ghostbusters movie.
It seems that around the beginning of the Republican National Convention event in Cleveland, Milo had orchestrated, led, or was involved in attacking the comedian’s race and her gender through the social media service. As a result, he’s responded in the only way he knows how: accuse Twitter of censorship and liberal-regressive totalitarianism.
“Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot.”
This follows other reports of Leslie Jones, the actress and comedian from Saturday Night Live (SNL), announcing she was leaving Twitter after being attacked by Twitter trolls with racist tweets and memes, which got more people on her side before she clarified that she never actually left.
But the mention of this taking place at the beginning of the Republican National Convention is important because Twitter states that the attacks against Leslie Jones increased over the 48 hours since the widely televised convention started. An event that’s built up controversy for promoting a platform that is anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT around Donald Trump’s nomination, who has also been accused of racism, misogyny, and being offensive in his fight against “political correctness” in his campaign for the White House.
The Twitter CEO responded to the banning of Milo’s account.
“Over the past 48 hours in particular, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension.”
Milo would certainly have to be affected, as the Breitbart site he writes for is strictly internet driven and relies on social media services to draw in their audience, which the site exploits for their needs. During the controversy surrounding Facebook’s trending news feed in May, the site published an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his wanting to meet with conservative media owners, to which they specifically said they did not want to. Instead, they made demands that Zuckerberg should accept Yiannopoulos as their ambassador under their terms and conditions.
Liberal media news sites have said that this is not the first time the conservative blogger had been banned for abuse on Twitter. Other than his orchestrated abuse towards Leslie Jones, earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that his verification status had been removed from his Twitter account in addition to mentioning the other times his account was temporarily suspended for violating their rules.
Offline, Milo has made many efforts to stir up controversy through his writing. In public, he clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters when speaking at a university. BLM is a movement that the Breitbart News site specifically likes to target at every opportunity they can.
The Wall Street Journal article gives more details on Yiannopoulos’ accusation against liberal media. In comparison, it refers to a liberal writer for the New York Daily News whose account was also suspended for violating Twitter’s rules through some involvement with CNN.
Breitbart claims to have an edge on data mining in order to go after politicians or people they want to “destroy.” Recently, Business Insider spoke with Yiannopoulos during his RNC party in Cleveland to learn that he’s threatened to retaliate against the social media service.
“I’m going to make their lives hell. I’m going to make them wish they’d never started a company. Because they deserve it.”
Remember when the worse thing about Milo Yiannopoulos was when he didn't pay writers at The Kernel?— Ewan Palmer (@EwanPalmer) July 20, 2016
But he’s also made similar threats before. When contributors for a news blog he helped start called the Kernel were seeking back payment, the Guardian reported on how he threatened those contributors.
“Yiannopoulos threatened to publish what he claimed were embarrassing details and photographs of one contributor who sought repayment, and said ‘I can’t ignore the fact that the majority of damage to The Kernel can be traced back to you and your childish, capricious behaviour.’ The contributor, who asked not to be named, told MediaGuardian they had referred the emails to the police. They are also considering taking legal action against The Kernel over the unpaid money.”
It’s been reported that Milo ended up paying back those contributors out of his pocket.
But as far as retaliation goes, Yiannopoulos has used his Breitbart “power” to publish articles about Twitter, where he lashes back with headlines like “War! How Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos Reacted After He Was Banned On Twitter,” “Milo Did Nothing Wrong,” “Double Standards: Leslie Jones’ Racist Twitter History,” “Leslie Jones Was Punching Down on Twitter Trolls for Hours Before Milo Ever Mentioned Her,” and “PC Mag: Banning Milo From Twitter Is A Super Bad Idea.” More articles addressed the “double standards,” saying how unfair it is that black Twitter users can get away with being racist but he can’t.
Details are non-existent about how Yiannopoulos plans to retaliate aside from writing and publishing more articles that will only earn him more traffic. Actually, he’s already bragged about how the controversy will only earn him more followers, and he’s also apparently had some tense altercations with the Twitter booth at the RNC, perhaps much in the same way that Alex Jones and Cenk Uygur did last week. And as of this writing, it’s unclear how Twitter is going to control abuse past the banning of accounts or even if the abuse Leslie Jones had to endure is an example of how we should accept the world both online and off, where we have to co-exist with trolls.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]