Conservative radio host Jesse Kelly has been permanently suspended from Twitter, upsetting many right-of-center pundits who believe this is the latest example of Twitter capriciously silencing conservative voices. The social platform hasn’t shared what Kelly did to receive his ban.
Kelly’s account was taken down on Sunday for “multiple or repeat violations of the Twitter rules,” according to an email that Kelly received from Twitter and shared with The Daily Beast. The reason for Kelly’s permanent suspension wasn’t cleared up on Monday; Twitter declined to tell TheWrap what specific tweet or tweets led to Kelly’s ban, while also declining to point to the specific rules that were violated.
“The American spirit of free speech has been replaced by people who want uncomfortable speech censored,” Kelly said in a Monday article on his Twitter removal. “Nowhere is this more apparent than the social media world.”
The Iraq War veteran and Houston-based radio host had about 80,000 followers on Twitter. Kelly has made some provocative claims in recent months — including calling for an American “divorce” along political lines and blasting Sen. Jeff Flake as a “coward” for his role in delaying Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Kelly’s political positions withstanding, conservatives believe this is the latest example of Twitter cracking down on right-wing personalities.
So, about this Jesse Kelly thing . . .
Twitter should be transparent, especially for prominent public accounts. He’s a radio host and former candidate for public office. The silence raises the inference that he was banned for reasons that can’t withstand public scrutiny. 1/
— David French (@DavidAFrench) November 26, 2018
It’s funny seeing conservative journalists cheering Jesse Kelly getting banned. Makes you wonder if they’re conservative. Or a journalist.
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) November 26, 2018
The ppl who decided to ban Jesse Kelly and the ppl who are cheering his ban are not only unfair, tyrannical, and lame, they are also pitifully humorless.
— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) November 26, 2018
Imagine volunteering to fight in wartime.
Risking your life to defend our Constitutional rights.
Serving your country honorably.
Returning home & gaining fame on a platform.
Then that platform deletes you for practicing the rights you fought to protect.
The Jesse Kelly story.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 26, 2018
Twitter's endgame is that everyone will be banned except @jack.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 26, 2018
Kelly joins a growing list of right-wing users that have been punished by Twitter this year. InfoWars boss Alex Jones was removed in September for “abusive behavior.” Far-right activist Laura Loomer was permanently suspended last week for calling incoming Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar “anti Jewish” for her support of the “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” movement against Israel. Twitter also banned the Proud Boys and its leader Gavin McInnes in August for violating its policy against “violent extremist groups.”