Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, pictured earlier this year in New York. Photo: Gotham/GC Images
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has finally discovered the limits of Elon Musk’s free speech absolutism.On Thursday night, in response to Ye tweeting a logo that features a swastika embedded in a Star of David, the rapper’s account was temporarily suspended for 12 hours.Some users had initially reported that Twitter told them the tweet was not in violation of Twitter’s rules, but Musk subsequently tweeted that Ye had been suspended for inciting violence.
“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk tweeted in response to an account that pleaded: “ELON FIX KANYE PLEASE.”Musk had unlocked Ye’s account on November 21, after it had been suspended for posting antisemitic comments, part of a months-long downward spiral that has seen his personal and business relationships disintegrate while at the same time he has announced his plan to run for president in 2024.Some users claimed Musk had suspended Ye for tweeted an unflattering half-naked picture of him on a yacht being sprayed with a hose by media executive Ari Emanuel, who has previously called on businesses to cut ties with the rapper over his antisemitic comments. Musk dismissed the claims in a tweet on Thursday night:
Prior to being suspended, Ye had spent most of the day appearing on Alex Jones’ Infowars where he engaged in unbridled antisemitism during an hours-long conversation. “They did good things too—we gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time,” Ye told Jones while wearing a black cloth mask.The logo Ye posted on Thursday night is a symbol linked to the Raelian UFO cult, whose followers believe that humanity was created by an advanced alien race who came to Earth thousands of years ago.In the moments after he posted the symbol and before he was suspended, Ye posted an image of a text exchange between him and Musk, with the Twitter chief writing: “Sorry, but you have gone too far. This is not love.”
Ye responded: “Who made you the judge.”After being locked out of his Twitter account, Ye moved over to Truth Social, the social media platform run by former President Donald Trump, where he posted more of the text message exchange between him and Musk.“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Musk wrote. “I’m Jesus name,” Ye responded, before posting a screenshot of his suspended Twitter account which included a countdown timer to when he will regain access.But Ye’s suspension is already being used by his acolytes to attack Musk and Twitter for failing to uphold his free speech claims.“If this how Elon is going to run Twitter— by refusing to reinstate Alex Jones because of a personal grievance, and banning Ye under pressure from activists, then Twitter remains a controlled platform,” Nick Fuentes, the renowned white supremacist who has become a close ally of Ye in recent weeks, wrote on Telegram.Fuentes continued that “Nothing Ye has said in the past or today could be reasonably, or even liberally, interpreted as “incitement to violence.” That includes Ye’s wild remarks made on Jones’ show on Thursday, which included a full-throated endorsement of Hitler.“I love Jewish people but I also love Nazis,” Ye said during the broadcast. Fuentes used the opportunity to make more antisemitic remarks: “That is obviously just an excuse for Twitter to bow to high pressure activist groups (Jewish), which happens to be exactly how Twitter censorship accelerated in 2017,” he wrote on Telegram.Meanwhile, Milo Yiannopolous, the notorious troll who Ye has picked to be his campaign manager for his tilt at the presidency in 2024, said the rapper posting the symbol was simply him expressing his creativity.“Ye’s suspension for posting two interlocking historical symbols was outrageous: a five-alarm warning against artistic expression on Twitter, and, of course, nothing to do with ‘incitement to violence’,” Yiannopolous wrote on his Telegram account.