Twitter permanently bans former KKK leader David Duke
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Twitter permanently bans former KKK leader David Duke

AJC welcomes move, saying ex-grand wizard used social media platform to ‘spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial’

In this July 22, 2016 photo, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke talks to the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State's office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
In this July 22, 2016 photo, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke talks to the media at the Louisiana Secretary of State's office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has been banned from Twitter for breaking the social media platform’s site’s rules forbidding hate speech.

The company said Friday that Duke’s account “has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules on hateful conduct.”

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.

Twitter said the ban was in line with its recently updated policy aimed at cutting down on harmful links. Under the new rules, the company may suspend accounts dedicated to sharing hateful content or that try to get around its blocks on sharing links to the material.

The American Jewish Committee welcomed the move, saying that: “For over ten years, Duke used Twitter as a megaphone to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. Such hate is unacceptable.”

Duke’s final tweet included a link to an interview he had conducted with Germar Rudolf, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in Germany.

In his tweet before that, Duke promised to expose the “systemic racism lie,” while another claimed to expose the “incitement of violence against white people” by Jewish-owned media.

Duke has been described by the Anti-Defamation League as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite.” In 1975, he founded the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an attempt to modernize the KKK. In the early 1990s, he mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship of Louisiana. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and spent a year in prison.

In June, he was banned from the video sharing website YouTube.

 

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