Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been booted from Twitter after encouraging his followers to send racist messages to “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones, and trolling her himself.
“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “But 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.”
Twitter has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request to see if Yiannopoulos is banned for life, or if the suspension is a temporary punishment.
#FreeMilo is a top trend on the social media platform as Yiannopoulos’ fans continue to show support. He is considered a leader of the “alt-right” movement, which is a segment of right-wing supporters who rely largely on Internet memes to spread their messages. Other people, including the controversial former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, are celebrating Yiannopoulos’ ban.
Yiannopoulos called the social media decision’s “cowardly,” and bashed Twitter at length on Breitbart.
“Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives,” he said. “Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber‘s fans cut themselves on his behalf?”
“Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot,” he added. “This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”
Yiannopoulos has used Twitter as a platform for attacking people for years, typically sticking to members of the gaming community such as Zoe Quinn and Felicia Day. When Yiannopoulos went after the star of a major motion picture, it was apparently the last straw. Jones received an onslaught of racist tweets, which resulted in the “Saturday Night Live” star signing off Twitter in “tears” and with “very sad heart.”
“These people hate themselves,” Jones wrote. “You have to hate yourself to put out that type of hate. I mean on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out.”
While commenting on Jones’ tweets Monday, Yiannopoulos wrote, “If at first you don’t succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim. EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS.”
“Barely literate. America needs better schools,” he tweeted in response to another Jones tweet.
Fortunately, there’s a counter movement to the hate. #LoveForLeslieJ inspired supportive tweets from fans and fellow Hollywood stars.