Twitter this week permanently banned David Duke, a prominent White supremacist and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The company said Duke had violated its policies against hate speech.
Duke’s Twitter account “has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules on hateful conduct,” the company said in a statement on Thursday, first reported by CNET. Twitter said the ban was in line with policies updated in March, which prohibit posts promoting violence or threats against people based on religion, race or ethnic origin.
Twitter didn’t specify any particular posts that led to Duke’s ban. Duke had been on Twitter since 2009 and amassed more than 53,000 followers by the time his account went down.
An archived version of Duke’s Twitter account shows that he had been posting up through Thursday, the day he was banned. His final posts included a link to an interview with a Holocaust denier, and misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for the anti-mask movement. “People who refuse the mask are the real heroes,” Duke wrote in one tweet.
The ban comes just weeks after Twitter stood by its decision to allow Duke on the platform, even after he had been muted and had content removed in the past. Twitter told the Washington Times earlier this month that Duke was allowed to keep his account, in part, because he was no longer associated with the KKK.
Duke was also suspended from YouTube in June.
Duke led the KKK for several years in the 1970s, and has for decades remained one of the most prominent voices supporting racism and White supremacy in the U.S. He saw a new wave of attention during the 2016 presidential campaign when he endorsed Donald Trump, and Mr. Trump refused to disavow Duke’s support.
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