I did not see this one coming at all, people. Richard Spencer, the guy behind Radix Journal and the National Policy Institute, has had his Twitter account reinstated. No word as of yet as to why it was banned in the first place. No one could really figure out why he had gotten banned, since he was pretty good about following the rules. Now, he does have some outspoken and controversial views, as many of you know. That was about the reason I, or anyone else, could some up with for his ban.

Welp, that’s over!

I’ll update this post if he reveals more about his suspension and subsequent reinstatement.


UPDATE: No word from Spencer on exactly what the justification was for the suspension, or the reinstatement. But he did have this to say about his gameplan.


UPDATE II: Twitter has told both Vox and BuzzFeed that Spencer was suspended for having too many account with overlapping uses. I’ve always hated this bullshit excuse. The crying from those two outlets makes his reinstatement all the sweeter, though.


Vox whining

Even though Twitter banned Spencer over his multiple accounts, it’s hard not to see his re-verification as an odd step backward — however, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Vox that Spencer had already been verified before his account was suspended; the reinstatement of his account merely restored his verification checkmark. Verification on Twitter is a way of confirming a user’s identity, but it’s also culturally seen across the site as a major status symbol — a mark of importance. The choice to allow Spencer’s one account to remain verified makes sense given that he was banned for having too many at once. But in the context of verification as a status symbol, seeing the verification checkmark next to Spencer’s name reads much differently.

It’s especially confusing given the clause of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy that states that the site does not allow “accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of [race, ethnicity, national origin, etc.]” Spencer’s Twitter account is very obviously dedicated to promoting the cause of the alt-right and bolstering his public identity as a white supremacist leader. White supremacy is explicitly about inciting harm toward others on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, etc., by denying them equal rights; as the New York Times put it, “White supremacists and white nationalists both believe that racial discrimination should be incorporated into law and policy.”

Given that racial discrimination causes harm to those being discriminated against, it’s difficult to understand how Spencer’s account, which is dedicated to promoting the alt-right’s cause, isn’t the embodiment of an account whose primary purpose is inciting harm toward others on the basis of race. Of course, we now know that Twitter didn’t ban him for that reason to begin with — which raises the question of to what extent Twitter intends to enforce the “hateful conduct” policy.

They hate free speech and wish to cull it. That’s the only thing I can glean from the post. It’s disgraceful, but that’s where most of the left is these days.