Twitter CEO Elon Musk said late Thursday that Kanye West would be suspended from Twitter after the rapper and fashion designer tweeted an image of a swastika in the Star of David. Mr Musk said the post violated the social media outlet’s rule against inciting violence.
The tweet was deleted shortly before Mr. West’s account became inaccessible. His page was soon replaced by a label: “Account Suspended.”
Thus continued the controversy sparked by Mr West – whose name is Ye – and his string of anti-Semitic comments on social media. Instagram blocked him from posting after he suggested on the platform that Sean Combs, the rapper known as Diddy, was being controlled by Jewish people. Ye has also lashed out at Jewish people via Twitter.
The indefinite suspension from Twitter came on the same day Ye had appeared on a podcast hosted by the Infowars conspiracy channel Alex Jones, in which he told Mr. Jones, “I love Hitler.”
The swastika tweet was part of a series of posts that included praise for Balenciaga, the French luxury brand that ended its professional relationship with Ye in October over its anti-Semitic remarks. Balanciaga, which has collaborated with Ye on runway shows and other fashion projects, has recently faced its own controversy in the form of allegations that it condoned child exploitation.
Before his suspension, Ye had also tweeted an unflattering photo of Mr Musk being hosed down on a yacht.
“This is fine,” Mr Musk tweeted in response to the image. “This isn’t it,” he wrote in reference to the swastika pole, confirming Ye’s suspension.
“He again violated our rule against inciting violence,” Musk added. “Account is suspended.”
Twitter had restricted the account Ye used in October after he posted an anti-Semitic tweet, which Twitter also removed. Restricted account users cannot post or interact on the platform, but unlike with suspensions, their previous tweets that did not violate the company’s rules will remain visible on the service.
After Ye was banned from Twitter, he had agreed to buy Parler, a social media outlet popular with right-wing audiences. On Thursday, the company said it had “mutually agreed with Ye” to end its deal to buy it.
Ye’s restriction on Twitter was lifted on Oct. 29, a move that said Mr. Musk Twitter before taking over the company.
Mr. Musk has said his approach to content moderation is, “When in doubt, let the speech stand.” He has also said that Twitter would form “a content moderation board with widely differing views.”
He has reinstated accounts that had been suspended for spreading misinformation, including those of former President Donald J. Trump and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. He has also said he will offer “amnesty” to accounts suspended by the company’s previous leadership.