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Kanye West suspended from Twitter after swastika post, Elon Musk says


Elon Musk said Twitter suspended the rapper Ye on Friday after he shared an image of a swastika combined with the Star of David, weeks after his account was restored following a previous restriction.

It’s the latest fallout for Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after he began making frequent antisemitic comments online and in interviews, which also caused him to lose several lucrative business deals. His tweets were a highly visible test of what new Twitter owner Musk — who has extolled his commitment to “free speech” — would allow on the site.

Musk and Twitter did not immediately say how long Ye would be unable to tweet on the social media site, where he had more than 31 million followers. Ye appeared to post a screenshot on Truth Social saying that he had been suspended from Twitter for 12 hours, using a recently created but verified account on the right-wing site, which is backed by former president Donald Trump.

His Twitter account appeared with a message saying “Account suspended” on Friday.

Musk had previously welcomed Ye back to Twitter, but this time the musician seemed to go too far.

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk wrote overnight to a Twitter user telling him to “fix Kanye.”

Musk bought Twitter in October after months of legal wrangling, and his ownership so far has been marked by mass layoffs and upheaval within the company.

Musk’s ‘free speech’ agenda dismantles safety work at Twitter, insiders say

When he was in the lengthy process of buying Twitter, Musk said he would follow national laws as a guide for what is allowed on the site. His stated approach was cheered by some conservative pundits and politicians who have accused tech companies, often without evidence, of “censoring” conservatives. But many civil rights groups have expressed alarm that Musk could roll back safeguards at Twitter designed to remove hate speech and violence.

Twitter insiders say layoffs have decimated the company’s trust and safety team, and in recent weeks, Musk reinstated Trump, the Babylon Bee and other controversial accounts. The billionaire has also moved rapidly to undermine a content moderation system meant to define dangerous language and protect vulnerable communities online, while layoffs left one of the world’s most influential social media sites with a skeleton staff, The Washington Post reported.

Musk at first pledged to create a diverse council to help shape content moderation, then backed off that commitment. Advertisers have been fleeing from Twitter since he took over, putting Twitter’s main source of revenue at risk.

Hundreds said to have opted to leave Twitter over Musk ultimatum

Musk has spoken out against permanent bans at Twitter, including Trump’s ban, which he reversed last month. The billionaire entrepreneur, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, indicated last month that he would reinstate nearly all banned Twitter accounts after conducting an informal poll that asked followers whether the company should offer general amnesty, “provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.”

But Ye’s suspension illustrates that Musk plans to follow some guidelines for what’s allowed on the site.

After Ye’s account was restricted earlier this fall when the musician tweeted he would go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE,” Musk tweeted that he had talked to Ye.

Musk said Oct. 10 that he “expressed my concerns about his recent tweet, which I think he took to heart.”

Ye’s most recent incendiary tweet followed a string of antisemitic comments by the rapper that have upended his business deals. An interview with far-right Infowars founder Alex Jones sparked uproar Thursday after Ye said, “I like Hitler.”

Rapper Ye draws fresh denunciation for Hitler praise in Alex Jones interview

In a retweet of a clip from the interview, before Musk announced his suspension, Ye promoted his appearance, where he also said, “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis.” He sent the swastika image in a separate tweet.

During the talk with Jones, alongside white nationalist Nick Fuentes, Ye also said, “I see good things about Hitler,” and denied that Adolf Hitler, as leader of the Nazi party, oversaw the murder of 6 million Jews.

Ye’s comments prompted condemnation Thursday from across the political spectrum, nearly a week after he had dinner with Trump and Fuentes. News of the dinner drew criticism of Trump from senior Republican officials in the country, to varying degrees.

Trump’s dinner with antisemites provides test of GOP response to extremism

Twitter reinstated Ye’s account just before Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media network. The rapper was locked out of the site, as well as Instagram, over other antisemitic messages. Musk greeted him upon his return to the platform in October, saying, “Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!”

Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.

Ye, a music producer and business mogul has lost several lucrative deals in recent months over his comments, including partnerships with Gap and Adidas. The right-leaning social app Parler said Thursday that Ye will no longer buy the company.

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