It seemed marginally possible last month that Twitter might not unilaterally suck at curbing hatred and abuse on its platform when it banned the accounts of several major "alt-right" trolls. Among the group was Richard Spencer, who compared the move to a 1934 purge of Nazi leadership, if that tells you anything about his sympathies. Spencer is credited by the Atlantic with popularizing the euphemistic term "alt-right," quoting his stated goal as a "new society, an ethno-state that would be a gathering point for all Europeans," achieved through a "peaceful ethnic cleansing." And in case you weren't convinced that this dude, who is of course a prominent pro-Trump voice, is an actual, literal Nazi, at a conference in November he led 200 white men in Nazi salutes. "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory" he said, that last phrase an english translation of the popular Nazi phrase "Seig Heil."
Now, less than a month after banishing Spencer, Twitter has let him crawl back in, reinstating and re-verifying his account. Nice.
Spencer, though, seems intent on reinstating all of his accounts. “I worked on getting my personal reinstated first. Next will be Radix, NPI, _AltRight_, and WSP,” he wrote on Twitter. Go for it, buddy.
And good job all around this weekend, Twitter: Vox points out that alt-right publication Breitbart had its account verified on Saturday.
NOOOOOOOOOOO— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 10, 2016
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN
STREET CRED DEMOLISHED
WHO MUST WE HARASS TO LOSE THIS pic.twitter.com/BgBEB5zE6l
There's still one particularly pernicious troll whom Twitter might ban: President-Elect Donald Trump. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has described his emotions about Trump's Twitter use as "complicated," and the company hasn't ruled out a ban on the account. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed has argued that Trump's antagonism on the platform tests the limits of abuse terms.