Twitter began enforcing its new, stricter set of community standards on Monday — and freaking out the far right with a series of high-profile account suspensions.
For days now, members of the so-called "alt right” and other far-right political movements have been worried about a December 18 “#TwitterPurge” once the social network implemented its new enforcement rules. The new rules, announced in November, specify that any ties to violence will be grounds for suspension, as will threats of violence.
The suspended alt-right types may flock to YouTube, the pseudo-Twitter platform Gab.ai, or their other parallel internet services, though free speech advocates have expressed caution about Twitter pursuing such sweeping suspensions.
“If you're going to ban any kind of opinion, this is a logical place to start. Twitter staff may find themselves struggling to distinguish among guerrillas, terrorists, revolutionaries, and dissidents," Susan Benesch, a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center and founder of the Dangerous Speech Project, said to Mashable.
Though it’s just a couple hours into the purge, it has already claimed a number of high-profile accounts. Here’s a roundup of the suspended accounts, which we’ll keep updating:
Jared Taylor, white supremacist mascot and founder of the 27-year-old racist “think tank” New Century Foundation, had his account suspended on Monday morning. The account of American Renaissance, Taylor’s website and a key online hub for internet white nationalists, was also killed.
The official Twitter account of Britain First, the extreme-right-wing anti-immigrant group that was retweeted three times by Donald Trump last month, has been suspended. So have the account of its top leaders, including its deputy leader Jayda Fransen, whose videos Trump retweeted.
American Nazi Party
The American Nazi Party lost its Twitter account. This gives them one less place to vent about their support for Breitbart CEO and Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Traditionalist Worker Party
Founded by American white supremacists' "young rising star" Matthew Heimbach in 2015, the TWP is known for its hardcore advocacy of racial purity and its hatred of Jews. On hand for the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville this past summer, the TWP was also among the first and most vocal defenders of James Fields, who drove a car into a crowd, killing protester Heather Heyer.
League of the South
The League of the South is comprised of white nationalists who basically want to create a "godly" neo-confederate state. Founded in the mid-1990s and based in Alabama, the group initially had a more academic bent and had mainstream champions like Washington Times columnist Robert Stacy McCain.
Nordic Resistance Movement
The Twitter account of the right-wing Nordic Resistance Movement's English-language podcast, Nordic Frontier, was taken down. It generates about $240 every month on "Hatreon" (the alt-right clone of Patreon)