By Alex Gallagher, NME.com
2nd December 2022 – (New York) Kanye West‘s Twitter account has been suspended after he tweeted an image containing a swastika inside a Star of David.
The inflammatory post was one of many West – also known as Ye – tweeted earlier today, culminating in Twitter CEO Elon Musk confirming that West’s account would be suspended due to violating the platform’s policies “against incitement to violence”.
West posted the image after appearing on an episode of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars. During the appearance, the rapper praised Adolf Hitler, saying that he “see[s] good things about” the Nazi dictator who perpetrated the genocide of six million Jewish people and millions of others.
In other tweets prior to his account being suspended, Ye defended Balenciaga amid the company’s recent controversy, saying he “denounce[s] all witch hunts and I cancel cancel culture”. West called for pornography to be removed from Twitter and all other platforms, calling it “the product of [pedophilia]” and saying the “use of porn destroyed my family”.
After West’s swastika tweet was deleted, West, in anticipation of his suspension, posted a photo of Musk being hosted by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel on a yacht, saying it would be his last tweet. Musk replied to the tweet saying that it was “fine”, but replied to the swastika post saying that was “not”.
After a Twitter user asked Musk to “fix Kanye”, the entrepreneur replied: “I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.” In another tweet, Musk confirmed West’s suspension had nothing to do with the “unflattering pic of me being hosed by Ari”. Musk later tweeted “FAFO” – an acronym that stands for “fuck around and find out”.
In October, West’s Twitter account was locked after he posted an antisemitic tweet in which he said he would go “death con 3” [sic] on Jewish people. Following West’s comments, Musk said he had spoken to the rapper and “expressed my concerns about his recent tweet”. West returned to Twitter last month.
Ye has repeatedly made antisemitic comments in recent months, including saying that he doesn’t believe in the term “antisemitism” and calling it “not factual”. West also prompted backlash in October after wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt during a Yeezy Paris Fashion Week show, and making false claims about the death of George Floyd.
West’s comments have led to widespread condemnation of the rapper and professional consequences such as Adidas ending its long-running Yeezy partnership, calling West’s actions “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous”.
West’s suspension from Twitter comes shortly after it was announced he would no longer be purchasing the conservative social media platform Parler. On October 17, Parler shared a press release confirming that it had entered into an agreement to sell the “uncancelable free speech platform” to Ye.
At the time, the platform said the rapper’s involvement would help create “an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome”. West added: “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
Now, the company has announced that the deal is off. “In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” the company wrote on Twitter yesterday, adding that the decision was made “in the interest of both parties” in mid-November.
Parler has had a controversial history since its launch in 2018 due to the platform marketing itself as focused on free speech and limited content moderation, attracting users who have been banned from other social networks. It was suspended from Apple and Google’s app stores in January 2021, after reports it had been used to coordinate the Capitol Riots.