Why did Twitter ban 'white nationalist' Nick Fuentes? Internet calls it 'a good start'
One of Nick Fuentes' last known tweets said, 'Most likely, I’ll be getting physically removed from CPAC in Dallas on Saturday'
Controversial conservative commentator Nick Fuentes joined Donald Trump in Twitter purgatory on July 9. The social media giant took the dreaded step of booting Fuentes, who was previously a verified user, much to many people's joy. Within minutes, social media was flooded with celebratory messages.
Conservatives have long decried censorship on more mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which have led to furious debates around the first amendment. Donald Trump became the first high-profile name to be banned en-masse following the January 6 insurrection. He was followed shortly after by conservative group Project Veritas on February 11. The "censoring" of conservative voices led Rush Limbaugh to delete his own account on January 9.
Others though, have gone on to embrace new platforms like Parler, and recently Gettr. On July 5, a pro-Palestinian hacker broke into Gettr and changed the account names for Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Schlapp, and Mike Pompeo. Nonetheless, conservatives have migrated in large numbers to these newer platforms. It is likely Fuentes will do so as well, given that he has now been handed a lifelong ban from Twitter. But why now? Fuentes has been spewing hate and lies on Twitter for a long time, so what made Twitter wield the ax on this occasion?
Why was Nick Fuentes banned?
That's a question we do not have an answer for, at least now. Fuentes was suddenly banned on July 9, without warning for "repeated violations of the Twitter Rules." A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment further, leaving everyone in the dark about why Twitter decided to act now. Prior to the ban, Fuentes had repeatedly tweeted about the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), taking place this weekend in Florida. One of his last known tweets said, "most likely, I’ll be getting physically removed from CPAC in Dallas on Saturday."
It appears his ban might have been the result of an article published by the Anti-Defamation League. On July 9, shortly before Fuentes was banned the ADL published an article titled 'Nicholas J. Fuentes: Five Things to Know'. The article chronicles Fuentes' history of white supremacy and controversial comments. It also links and screenshots of some of his tweets. We can only speculate at this point if the article played a role in the ban, but the timing doesn't feel like a coincidence.
Fuentes' comments have proven to be far too extreme, even for a Donald Trump-led CPAC, who in the past has distanced itself from him. In fact, he was even called a "white supremacist" by the FBI in a court document, Forbes noted. However, he has been welcomed by others in the right, like Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar. Last week, Gosar was spotted at a fundraiser with Fuentes, which he brushed off despite immense criticism.
The commentator has a long history of racist, and pro-white statements, he's somehow managed to keep his Twitter account till now. In the past, Fuentes was booted off YouTube, PayPal, and TikTok amongst others. Those bans came after increasingly problematic statements, like his call to "kill state legislators who voted to certify election results". Since then, activists have been trying to deplatform Fuentes, who had over 125,000 followers.
'Holocaust deniers shouldn’t have a platform'
Twitter celebrated the de-platforming of Fuentes when news of his ban went viral. "Twitter has permanently suspended Nick Fuentes account. Thank y'all for making it happen," one person said. Another user joked, "If all else fails, just remember you’ve tweeted more than Trump and Nick Fuentes today."
Twitter has permanently suspended Nick Fuentes account. Thank y'all for making it happen.— Baligubadle (@Baligubadle1) July 9, 2021
If all else fails, just remember you’ve tweeted more than Trump and Nick Fuentes today.— Kate 🤍🇺🇸 (@ImSpeaking13) July 9, 2021
"Nick Fuentes is permanently suspended from Twitter. Holocaust deniers shouldn’t have a platform. Twitter TOS has the right to enforce their own rules because that’s not a violation of the first amendment," one person tweeted. Another said, "My day went from a 3/10 to a 10/10 instantly get f----- Nick Fuentes."
Nick Fuentes is permanently suspended from Twitter. Holocaust deniers shouldn’t have a platform. Twitter TOS has the right to enforce their own rules because that’s not a violation of the first amendment.— David Weissman (@davidmweissman) July 9, 2021
My day went from a 3/10 to a 10/10 instantly— Rainbow capitalism grayed the gay away (@BiGoblinArtist) July 10, 2021
get fucked Nick Fuentes pic.twitter.com/OJJ4H6q4cA
However, others were quick to condemn the ban. Ben Shapiro tweeted, "Nick Fuentes is a garbage person with garbage beliefs. Twitter is also filled with lots of garbage people with garbage beliefs. Only certain people get banned. Nobody should trust Twitter's supposed free speech neutrality." Another said, "Nick Fuentes did not deserve to be suspended from Twitter. I don't care what you think about the guy, but megacorporations should not have the right to silence people's free speech, no matter how controversial it is. It starts with him, and ends with YOU! Remember that."
Nick Fuentes is a garbage person with garbage beliefs. Twitter is also filled with lots of garbage people with garbage beliefs. Only certain people get banned. Nobody should trust Twitter's supposed free speech neutrality.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 9, 2021
Nick Fuentes did not deserve to be suspended from Twitter. I don't care what you think about the guy, but megacorporations should not have the right to silence people's free speech, no matter how controversial it is.— Red Eagle Politics (@RedEaglePatriot) July 9, 2021
It starts with him, and ends with YOU! Remember that.
Michael Knowles said, "The swift and utter unpersoning of Nick Fuentes should worry anyone who in any way contradicts the dominant liberal regime." Another user said, "Nick Fuentes is a political prisoner Nick Fuentes is an American hero."
The swift and utter unpersoning of Nick Fuentes should worry anyone who in any way contradicts the dominant liberal regime.— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) July 9, 2021
Nick Fuentes is a political prisoner— Dan Lyman (@CitizenAnalyst) July 10, 2021
Nick Fuentes is an American hero https://t.co/Cx2ArNxQqf
Twitter, unlike Facebook, has permanent bans. That means there is no way Fuentes will be back on the platform unless the company changes its rules. So far, it's unclear if he has migrated to Gettr, or other conservatives platforms, but is likely. Twitter may clear the air later, but for now, we can only imagine it was a response to the ADL and Twitter's role in helping spread white supremacy.