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Twitter permanently bans former KKK leader David Duke

Twitter has permanently banned former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke for breaking the social media platform’s rules forbidding hate speech.

On Friday, the page @DrDavidDuke came with a suspension notification that read: ‘Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.’

Duke’s account was ‘permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules on hateful conduct,’ the company said in a statement.

It didn’t specify what exactly Duke posted that triggered the ban, but its policy on hateful conduct prohibits promoting violence or threatening attacks against people based on religious affiliation, race and ethnic origin.  

On Friday, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke was permanently banned from Twitter for violating rules on hate speech. Pictured: Duke participates in a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017

On Friday, former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke was permanently banned from Twitter for violating rules on hate speech. Pictured: Duke participates in a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017

It comes after Twitter updated its policy to ban accounts with harmful links to includes those that share hateful content, not just malware

It comes after Twitter updated its policy to ban accounts with harmful links to includes those that share hateful content, not just malware

According to an archived version of his Twitter page, Duke joined the platform in September 2009 and had reached 53,000 followers. 

Among his controversial comments, Duke referred to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace as a ‘Zio’ (Zionist) and his father, Mike Wallace, as a ‘rad left Zio’ (radical left Zionist), meant to be an insult.

Zionists believe Judaism is a nationality, in addition to a religion, and that the Jewish people deserve their own nation – a concept denied by neo-Nazis.

He also advocated coronavirus conspiracy theories, such as ones that claim the death toll is lower than the official number.

‘Is there anybody but Lemming Brain Dead mass kamikazes who still believe in the ‘official’ Covid-19 death totals? If so, put the straight-jacket on them, they need it,’ he tweeted on July 18.

 

In tweets, Duke referred to black people as 'savages,' Jewish people as 'degenerate filth' and trans-people as 'trannies'

In tweets, Duke referred to black people as ‘savages,’ Jewish people as ‘degenerate filth’ and trans-people as ‘trannies’

On Twitter, Duke had called black people ‘savages,’ Jewish people ‘degenerate filth,’ and trans people the slur ‘trannies,’ according to Gizmodo.

The social media platform said the ban was in line with its recently updated policy aimed at cutting down on harmful links. 

Previously, the policy had referred to links that could infect a user with malware but, this week, it was update to include accounts dedicated to sharing hateful content.

Duke was the leader, known as the Grand Wizard, of the white supremacist KKK from 1974 to 1978. 

He promoted conspiracy theories such as denial of the Holocaust and control of academia, media, and the financial system by Jewish people. 

Duke and other participants of a white supremacist turned sharply critical of Trump after the day's events turned violent, accusing the president of attacking them unfairly

Duke and other participants of a white supremacist turned sharply critical of Trump after the day’s events turned violent, accusing the president of attacking them unfairly

 

In addition to propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Duke also spread coronavirus conspiracy theories online

In addition to propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Duke also spread coronavirus conspiracy theories online

Duke led the KKK from 1974 to 1978 before he rebranded himself as a born-again Christian to run for Congress. Pictured: Duke patrols the California-Mexico border for illegal immigrants in a 'Klan Border Watch' automobile, date unknown

Duke led the KKK from 1974 to 1978 before he rebranded himself as a born-again Christian to run for Congress. Pictured: Duke patrols the California-Mexico border for illegal immigrants in a ‘Klan Border Watch’ automobile, date unknown

He promoted conspiracy theories such as denial of the Holocaust and control of academia, media, and the financial system by Jewish people.

He was described as ‘perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite’ by the Anti-Defamation League in 2013.

Duke rebranded himself as a born-again Christian and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989, but served for just one term.

This is not the first account of Duke’s to be suspended.

Last month, his YouTube channel was banned in addition to those of other  prominent white supremacist.

It comes after a 2019 policy change at the company cracking down on ‘videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.’ 

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