Story at a glance

  • The social media giant in recent months has been more emboldened when it comes to censoring content it considers to be misinformation or hate speech.
  • Duke recently shared an interview he conducted with a Holocaust denier.
  • While Twitter said the ban was in line with its policy on harmful links, it did not specify what exactly prompted the ban.

Former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) grand wizard David Duke has been permanently banned from Twitter for repeatedly violating the social media platform’s hate speech rules. 

Twitter said Friday Duke’s account, which had been active since 2009 and had amassed more than 53,000 followers, was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the social media site’s rules on “hateful conduct.” 

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Twitter said the ban was in line with its recent updated policy on harmful links, but did not specify exactly what prompted the ban. 

“We’ve updated our link policy,” Twitter tweeted this week from its official support account. “Hateful conduct and violence are now link content categories that we may block [and] Accounts dedicated to sharing these types of links may be suspended.”

The social media giant in recent months has become more emboldened in censoring content it considers to be misinformation or hate speech. 

This week, Twitter temporarily limited Donald Trump Jr.’s account after he shared a video defending the use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug touted by President Trump to combat COVID-19. Twitter said the video violated the platform’s coronavirus misinformation policy. 

Duke, who founded the Knights of the KKK in the 1970s, most recently tweeted a link to an interview he conducted with Germar Rudolf, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in Germany, according to the BBC

Other tweets from Duke include a promise to expose the “systemic racism lie” and to expose the “incitement of violence against white people” by Jewish-owned media. 

Duke was banned from YouTube in June after the site suspended several white supremacists’ channels for violating its hate speech policies. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Duke is the leader of the white supremacist group European American Unity and Rights Organization and is possibly “America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite.”

Published on Jul 31, 2020