Twitter suspended high-profile accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech. Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.
The alt-right, a loosely organized group that espouses white nationalism, emerged as a counterpoint to mainstream conservatism and has flourished online. Spencer has said he wants blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Jews removed from the U.S.
Twitter on Tuesday removed Spencer’s verified account, @RichardBSpencer, that of his think tank, the National Policy Institute @npiamerica, and his online magazine @radixjournal.
For years, Twitter billed itself as “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” But as the social media service grew, that hands-off approach contributed to a dramatic rise in abuse, harassment and hate speech. As the company’s user and revenue growth stagnated and public backlash increased, Twitter has in recent months begun to address complaints. In a statement, Twitter said: “The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted abuse and harassment, and we will suspend accounts that violate this policy.”
First appeared on USA Today.