Twitter suspends Kanye West’s account again

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Dec 2 (Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Friday suspended the account of Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West again, just two months after it was reinstated, because Elon Musk said the rapper violated the platform’s rules prohibiting incitement to violence.

Ye’s account showed a notice that it was suspended, after one of his posts had earlier appeared to show a swastika symbol inside a Star of David.

The billionaire owner of Twitter, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, had welcomed the return of the rapper, now known as Ye, to the platform in October.

“I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended,” Musk tweeted in reply to a Twitter user who said “Elon Fix Kanye Please”.

Ye, who had more than 30 million followers on Twitter before his suspension, did not respond to requests for comment.

Musk has in the past few months expressed his desire to have fewer limits on content that can be posted on Twitter. He said last week the platform would provide a “general amnesty” to some suspended accounts.

Last month, Twitter reinstated some previously suspended accounts, including that of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

It was not immediately clear if Ye would be allowed back on Twitter and the company did not respond to requests for comment.

Ye posted a screenshot on Trump’s Truth Social platform, showing his Twitter account would be suspended for 12 hours.

ALEX JONES INTERVIEW

The tweet controversy was the latest in a series of actions by the rapper and fashion designer that stoked controversy. On Thursday, Ye praised Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his online Infowars show.

“Ye has arrived in a new ensemble here with us, but I’ll assure you it is Ye,” Jones said at the start of the interview in which Ye wore a black mask over his entire head obscuring his face as well as black gloves.

Ye and his representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on his Infowars appearance.

Some Republicans condemned Ye’s comments.

Iowa Republican U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson tweeted “Kanye West’s antisemitic comments today were disgusting. His pattern of antisemitic behavior is unacceptable and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

President Joe Biden also appeared to address the issue in a tweet on Friday, without specifically naming Ye.

“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure. And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity,” Biden said in a tweet on Friday.

Alex Jones, who has faced backlash for his own controversial comments, filed for bankruptcy on Friday, less than two months after a jury ordered him and the parent of his Infowars website to pay nearly $1 billion in compensatory damages to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting.

On Thursday, Ye also abandoned his plans to buy Parler less than two months after announcing a deal for the social media platform popular among U.S. conservatives.

Ye has been dropped by major corporate partners including Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE) and seen his posts removed by platforms like Instagram because of antisemitic remarks and outbursts on social media against other celebrities.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath, Eva Mathews and Aditya Soni in Bengaluru, Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Kim Coghill, Jan Harvey, Shounak Dasgupta and Anna Driver

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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