- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Milo Yiannopoulos has been permanently banned from Twitter, shortly after his run-in with Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones on the social media platform.

The gay conservative provocateur received a notification Tuesday informing him that his “account has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules,” reported Breitbart News.

In a statement to Breitbart, Mr. Yiannopoulos said the “cowardly suspension” will backfire.

“With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives,” Mr. Yiannopoulos said.

“Like all acts of the totalitarian left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans,” he said. “We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot.”

The suspension comes one day after Mr. Yiannopoulos, who is tech editor of Breitbart, chastised Ms. Jones for complaining about receiving hate mail.

He accused the comedian of playing “the victim” because her work “is terrible.” Ms. Jones responded by reporting Mr. Yiannopoulos and said she hoped Twitter would lock his account.

Shortly after the exchange with Mr. Yiannopoulos, Ms. Jones was barraged with harassing tweets, many of which were racially charged. She retweeted many of them and asked Twitter to intervene on her behalf.

Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it,” she said in a tweet. “But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that.”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly reached out to Ms. Jones late on Monday evening, but a couple of hours later, the actress announced she was leaving the social media platform.

“I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart,” she said in a tweet. “All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the shit I got today… wrong.”

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Twitter spokesperson mentioned neither Mr. Yiannopoulos nor Ms. Jones by name, but said “no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”

“Over the past 48 hours, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of accounts violating these policies and have taken enforcement actions against these accounts, ranging from warnings that also require the deletion of Tweets violating our policies to permanent suspension,” the spokesperson said.

Mr. Yiannopoulos said holding him accountable for the actions of his followers is “pretzel logic.”

Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left,” he told Breitbart.

A hashtag, “#FreeMilo,” has cropped up in the wake of the suspension, with users calling on Twitter to reinstate Mr. Yiannopoulos’s account.

“Oh vey! Milo permanently banned from Twitter for hating Ghostbusters & quarreling with one of its stars,” saidAmerican Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers in a tweet.

“Good lord, Twitter will never get it. An anti-free speech communication platform will lose its value. Again. Happy trading,” said conservative blogger Steven Crowder in a tweet, referring to the company’s recent financial woes.

Conservatives have long suspected social media platforms of distorting their platforms to benefit liberal and progressive causes. Those concerns came to a head in May, when several former Facebook employees admitted to suppressing stories of interest to conservatives from the platform’s “trending” news section.

Mr. Yiannopoulos had been suspended several times by Twitter before the outright ban. In January, Twitter removed his verified status due to his repeated rules violations.

He tweeted at the time that Twitter was “gearing up to purge conservatives” from the platform.

“Unverifying me is the first step toward a permanent ban,” he tweeted at the time.‚Äč

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