Milo Yiannopoulos, rightwing writer, permanently banned from Twitter

Breitbart writer, who tweeted as @Nero, handed permanent suspension after claims he fanned flames of social media attack on Ghostbusters Leslie Jones

Twitter has permanently banned a rightwing novelist and notorious troll for his role in the online abuse of Leslie Jones over her role in the Ghostbusters reboot.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for Breitbart.com, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 adherents and called himself the most fabulous supervillain on the internet for his provocations online.

A known contrarian who likened rape culture to Harry Potter( both fiction) and affectionately referred to Donald Trump as daddy, he emerged as a spokesman for the alt-right in the wake of the Gamergate movement.

Yiannopoulos has been suspended from Twitter several times in the past for infringing its terms of service, and had his verified status rescinded earlier this year, inspiring the hashtag #JeSuisMilo among his supporters.

But claims that he had fanned the flames of the harassment of Ghostbusters performer Leslie Jones on Twitter led to a permanent suspension from Twitter on Wednesday.

Yiannopolous told Breitbart.com his suspension was cowardly, and evidence that Twitter was a no-go zone for conservatives.

Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. Were winning the culture war, and Twitter simply shot themselves in the foot.

This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: youre not welcome on Twitter.

His supporters echoed his criticisms, inspiring #FreeMilo to trend on the platform.

Kassy Dillon (@ KassyDillon)

You’ve got to be kidding me. Fascist Twitter silences conservatives again. Sad! #FreeMilo #FreeNero pic.twitter.com/ 4shlhDgUtU

July 20, 2016

Steven Crowder (@ scrowder)

Good lord, Twitter will never get it. An anti-free speech communication platform will lose its value. Again. Happy trading. #FreeMilo

July 20, 2016

Baked Alaska (@ bakedalaska)

Suspending the top lesbian conservative voice of the world ??

Great move @jack, Very tolerant of you !! #FreeMilo

July 20, 2016

On Monday, Jones had started publicising some of the abuse she had received on the platform, much of it singling her out for being black and a woman.

After she made public pleas for Twitter to intervene, its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, asked her to stimulate contact late on Monday night.

But she later seemed to quit the platform with tears and a really sad heart.

Yiannopoulos, who had written a scathing review of the Ghostbusters reboot, had been dismissive. If at first you dont succeed( because your work is terrible ), play the main victims, he tweeted. EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS.

Before he was banned, he told Heat Street that of course he had no regrets about his behaviour towards Jones. But feminists, on the other hand, should have regrets that they have taught strong girls that they are victims and attacked people for having different opinions to them on Twitter.

A spokesman for Twitter said in a statement that permanent suspension was one of a number of steps that had been taken to address the uptick in offending accounts since Jones began rallying against her abusers.

People should be able to express diverse opinions and notions on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit provoking or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.

The statement also addressed criticisms that the platform does not go far enough to protect its users, especially women and people of colour.

We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We concur. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as its happening and prevent repeat offenders.

A review of Twitters hateful conduct policy was under way and would prohibit more types of abusive behaviour as well as permit more forms of reporting, with the goal of reducing the burden on the person or persons being targeted.

More details on those changes were due in the coming weeks, said the spokesman.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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