Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWR) has initiated a mass removal of eminent accounts associated with the alt-right just a week after the stunning electoral victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections, according to the Daily Caller. The account of Richard Spencer, director and president of the National Policy Institute, was one of the most notable accounts caught up in the removal.
Twitter on a mass-purge mission
On Tuesday evening, the micro-blogging site removed Spencer’s verified account, which was previously available at @RichardBSpencer.
In an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Spencer said this is “corporate Stalinism… Twitter is trying to airbrush the Alt Right out of existence. They’re clearly afraid. They will fail!”
Twitter not only removed Spencer but also suspended the official account of the National Policy Institute (@npiamerica) and its online magazine (@RadixJournal) as well. The social network also suspended the account of a separate book publishing company led by Spencer – the Washington Summit Publishers (@washsummit), says the Daily Caller. The ban took place the day Spencer appeared on The Daily Show and NPR.
The account of Paul Town, who is accused of feeding an outlandish and false narrative on how Pepe the cartoon frog came to be associated with white nationalism to Olivia Nuzzi at The Daily Beast, was suspended as well. Other suspended users include Ricky Vaughn, John Rivers, Pax Dickinson and several others. They all are prominent alt-right accounts, notes the Daily Caller.
Alt-right thrived under Trump’s candidacy
Several users expressed shock at the suspension of accounts, while many attempted to come up with an explanation for the removals.
“Twitter just banned @NPIAmerica as part of their purge. Clearly intended to strike against NPI’s conference this weekend,” tweeted a user named Matt Forney.
Some users noted that this major ban could be an outcome of new reporting features that the social network added to avoid “hate against a gender, religion, race, or orientation.”
Last week, Amelia Tait at New Statesman noted that the influence of the alt-right has surged mostly because of its use of social media platforms. She said that the alt-right is a new political movement of “individuals with misogynist and racist viewpoints” who prospered under the candidacy of Trump and stayed mostly unchecked by the social networking site.
Recently, BuzzFeed News’ Charlie Warzel made a case that the micro-blogging site was important to Trump’s very successful campaign and resulted in the empowerment of the alt-right political movement, which drove momentum and enthusiasm for Trump and against the establishment through a coordinated effort of trolling and online organization.