In a crackdown on hate speech accounts, Twitter confirmed on Friday the permanent suspension of the account of David Duke, former leader of the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan.
According to the company, Duke was expelled from the social network for repeatedly violating policies involving hate speech and harmful links. Under the rules of use, any attacks motivated by religion, race, ethnicity or nationality are prohibited.
The social network, however, did not say which specific publication led to the measure. He had already been suspended in 2017, but only temporarily.
He joined the social network in September 2009 and his account had more than 53,000 followers. Now, when trying to enter Duke’s 70-year-old profile, users will see only an alert that the account has been suspended for violation of rules.
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In June, YouTube had already taken a similar step, banning Duke from the video platform for “systematic violation of hate speech policies”. In addition to the content itself, including lines in which Duke claimed that social minorities are “inferior”, followers often left racist comments.
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According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an American civil rights organization known for judicial victories over white supremacist groups, Duke “built an international reputation as the American face of white nationalism and a pseudo-academic anti-Semitism”.
In his autobiography, published in 1998, he shares his defense of racial separation, in which whites and blacks should live and work in different neighborhoods, in addition to studying in different schools. “We will work for the eventual creation of a separate homeland for African Americans,” he says in the book.
The Ku Klux Klan is the oldest white supremacist group in the United States and its roots can be traced back to the reconstruction period in the south of the country after the Civil War. The group chased and tortured blacks between the 19th and 20th century, in addition to expressing anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT rhetoric.
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Under intense criticism for the advance of content involving hate speech, Twitter has been trying in recent weeks to curb harmful publications and the sharing of false information. The social network recently banned more than 7,000 accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that there is a “deep state” that tries to overthrow US President Donald Trump, and that there is a satanic and pedophile sect involving artists and politicians prominent.
This week, the account of Donald Trump Jr., son of U.S. President Donald Trump, was suspended for 12 hours after sharing misleading information about the new coronavirus pandemic, including criticism of the recommendation to wear masks. A video from a far-right website replicated by the president himself was also deleted this week for promoting misinformation about the pandemic.