Conspiracy theorists, homophobes, neo-Nazis… Ten emblematic accounts of the Twitter drift under Elon Musk

Since the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, who defines himself as an absolutist of freedom of expression, the platform has little airs of Gotham City, the fictional city of Batman, the day after the opening of the jails of the Arkham Asylum. After “consulting” with his massively libertarian and pro-Trump subscriber base, the richest man in the world has unblocked nearly 12,000 accounts, who had been suspended for anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic, transphobic remarks, or incitement to violence. Overview in ten portraits of the main figures, all English-speaking, who have returned to Musk’s social network.

Donald Trump, the putschist ex-president

Neo-Nazi youth star Andrew Anglin

Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon antivax MP

Project Veritas, the Trumpist and deceptive “investigative media”

Republican white supremacist Patrick Casey

“Sargon of Akkad”, the gamer turned Islamophobic theorist

James Lindsay, the homophobic ideologue

The Babylon Bee, the transphobic “Gorafi” of reactionary America

Andrew Tate, kickboxer and masculinist entrepreneur

Kanye West/Ye, the visiting anti-Semitic rapper

  • Donald Trump, the putschist ex-president

His last message date of January 8, 2021: “To all those who are wondering, I will not be going to the nomination on January 20 [du président démocrate Joe Biden] ». Almost two years later, the account of Donald Trump seems, like the former president, frozen on his electoral defeat that he continues to dispute and ruminate.

Two days after the assault on the Capitol, his page with more than 80 million subscribers had been “permanently suspended” by Twitter. In a rare decision, the platform had estimated that his last messages, umpteenth public denials of the results of the suffrage, had contributed to motivating his most zealous supporters. Since then, former Twitter executive Jack Dorsey has publicly announced of his regrets, lamenting a “business decision” who “shouldn’t have been”.

Elon Musk, who during the 2020 election campaign had multiplied the signs of complicity with Donald Trump without openly calling for a vote for him, relied on an online survey, in which 15 million Internet users participated in mid-November, to restore the account of the former president. This highly symbolic decision, presented as the “vox populi”, did not quite have the expected effect. The billionaire, who made more than 30,000 false or misleading claims during his tenure, according to washington posthas so far refused to return to tweeting, preferring to stay on Truth Social, the competing social network he created.

  • Neo-Nazi youth star Andrew Anglin

Among the accounts restored by Elon Musk, few have caused as much ink to flow as that of this 38-year-old far-right activist. The editor of The Daily Stormerthe most influential American neo-Nazi site, is accustomed to anti-Semitic, negationist, misogynistic and supremacist assertions, which divide even within the spheres of the extreme right.

The one who makes it his mission to make “white nations be cleansed of non-white ethnicities” is one of the oldest banned from Twitter: his account was suspended in 2013. Elon Musk allowed him to come back with his 10,000 subscribers. “I deleted all the old stuff that was on this account. I will strictly follow the rules whatever they are”, he swore. This did not prevent him from suggesting that Kanye West is a candidate for the presidency of the United States, the day after a tweet from the rapper praising Hitler.

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon antivax MP

QAnon conspirator and elected Trumpist in the Georgia State House of Representatives, Marjorie Taylor Greene, relays on her page a lot of anti-vaccine rumors and accusations of voter fraud to almost 2 million subscribers. In January 2022, in the name of the fight against medical misinformation, Twitter permanently suspended his account while she had awarded “extremely high numbers of deaths” vaccines against Covid-19. “I am the only US Congresswoman that the unelected Big Tech oligarchs have permanently banned”, Was she annoyedbefore Elon Musk restored his access on November 22.

  • Project Veritas, the Trumpist and deceptive “investigative media”

This sulphurous far-right American media, founded in 2010, specializes in hidden camera punch videos, with militant bias and misleading editing. A ten-minute sequence had caused a sensation as far as France: three Pfizer employees, wrongly presented as scientists in charge of the development of the anti-Covid vaccine, made the apology of natural immunity in hidden camera. Project Veritas also attempted, unsuccessfully, to manipulate the washington post, who won the Pulitzer Prize for demonstrating the deception. Suspended in February 2021, the one million subscriber account was restored on November 23. His first message? Thanks to Elon Musk for “support for true investigative journalism”and a teaser on child trafficking, another antiphon of Trumpist conspiracy.

  • Patrick Casey, the Republican supremacist Trojan horse

Patrick Casey was the leader of the American far-right identity group Identity Evropa, which dissolved and then reformed in 2000, adopting the name American Identity Movement. The group had set itself the goal of influencing the Republican Party to normalize the ideas of white supremacy and neo-Nazism, with the aim of bringing about a “America 90% white”. Several accounts administered by Mr. Casey under false identities had been blocked by Twitter in recent years. “The fact that I am allowed to come back is a great sign”he welcomed, before describing the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk as an example of“unexpected and providential event”.

  • “Sargon of Akkad”, the gamer turned Islamophobic theorist

Sargon of Akkad, Carl Benjamin at civil status, 265,000 subscribers since his return, is a British far-right youtuber, who rose to prominence during the neo-reactionary and anti-feminist movement known as “GamerGate”, who animated the video game world from 2014 to 2016. He broadcast misogynistic and anti-immigration videos there. He had been banned from Twitter in 2018 for inciting hatred; the same year, he debated the “scientific racism” in a video with American neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and co-created a political association with British anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson.

In 2019, Carl Benjamin was a candidate for the ultra-conservative and pro-Brexit UKIP party in the European elections. “Thank you for bringing me back to life”he tweeted in his first message back, on November 22, claiming to be “a different man”. While calling for the restoration of the accounts of Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, two figures of the far right Trumpist.

  • James Lindsay, the homophobic ideologue

Mathematician and author of several books on social subjects, James Lindsay was, a few years ago, an author presenting himself as progressive but critical of the “cancel culture” and the excesses of certain forms of activism of the American left. His Twitter account had been suspended at the start of the year, at the end of a radicalization which saw him cut himself off from several of his former allies, including in the conservative camp. He had notably declared that the rainbow flag, symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, was the “flag of a hostile enemy”and mentioned the risk of a “white genocide”. Back with 300,000 subscribers, he promises to “defeat the pedophiles”a term by which it refers to homosexual people.

  • The Babylon Bee, the transphobic parody of reactionary America

Assigned a boy at birth, pediatrician Rachel Levine, United States Assistant Secretary for Health since March 2021, is the first transgender person to hold such high office in the US administration. In March 2022, the daily USA Today selects her from its list of women of the year 2022. An honor that inspires The Babylon Bee with a mocking article. This American parody site followed by 2 million Internet users refers to Rachel Levine “man of the year” a trait of transphobic humor that applies to his Twitter account to be partially suspended for “hate conduct. » His account was restored in mid-November by Elon Musk. ” We are back. Put that in your head, welcomed The Babylon Bee in its return message. Among the responses, a tweet sparked enthusiasm in his community. He simply said: “Rachel Levine is a man. »

  • Andrew Tate, kickboxer and masculinist entrepreneur

An Anglo-American national, Andrew Tate is a former kickboxing champion who has become an influencer. He publishes virile and misogynistic content, and was a regular guest on InfoWars, the show of American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. His accounts on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have all been suspended for the past two years because of his misogynistic outbursts – he holds, for example, that women victims of rape are responsible for what happened to them. After five years of suspension, his Twitter account was reactivated in mid-November. “I’m waiting for free spirits”he immediately tweeted, sharing a link to paid training promising “alpha males” the solution for “Leaving the Matrix”.

  • Kanye West/Ye, the visiting anti-Semitic rapper

Among this gallery of accounts restored by Elon Musk, that of the rap megastar is an exception: he was able to enjoy his Twitter access again in October, three months after being suspended for anti-Semitic remarks, before being banned again by Musk himself on December 2.

The day before, under his new stage name Yes »the artist had praises Adolf Hitler on US conspiracy mogul Alex Jones’ show before sharing an image of a swastika in a Star of David with his 30 million followers, convincing the platform’s new boss to ban him again. ” I did my best. Despite this, he again broke our rules prohibiting incitement to violence”justified Mr. Musk.

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Conspiracy theorists, homophobes, neo-Nazis… Ten emblematic accounts of the Twitter drift under Elon Musk