David Duke’s Twitter Account Restored, Including Tweet Threatening Synagogues
Twitter temporarily suspended the account of David Duke on Monday, before restoring it hours later, along with anti-Semitic tweets calling to “SHUT DOWN a few synagogues” he posted hours earlier.
It is unclear what prompted the ban or the reinstatement, and a request for comment from Twitter was not returned.
The suspension and apparent backtrack comes one month after Twitter vowed once again to crack down on abuse and harassment on the social network, taking what CEO Jack Dorsey called “a completely new approach to abuse on Twitter.” The company made similar proclamations in 2015 and 2016 to limited or no effect.
Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, provided a statement to The Daily Beast before he was reinstated on Twitter.
“Anyone who takes a position from the right is subject to be removed from Twitter. Moreover, freedom of speech in regards Internet [sic] is basically non existent unless you have a Marxist left wing opinion.”
Mike Lawrence, a spokesperson for Duke, told The Daily Beast he’s “not sure if he will try to restore [his] account” in a series of text messages.
“At this point, [Duke] seems ambivalent in regards to [his] Twitter account,” he said.
When his account was restored, Duke said he had “no idea why I was suspended.”
On Sunday, Duke tweeted that “we might have to SHUT DOWN a few synagogues” above a report saying some would protect immigrants. He tweeted an article about “The Jew as Adversary in the Battle Over Obscenity, Pornography and Sexual Morality,” linking to his own website. Duke also tweeted "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" along with a picture of two bullets.
In a series of tweets on Monday, he then derided Captain America, at one point calling the Marvel superhero “globalist filth” and a “cuck.”
Duke received renewed public interest in the 2016 election cycle, claiming “our people have played a HUGE role in electing Donald Trump” on election day. He also ran for a vacant Senate seat in Louisiana, but only received 5.1 percent of the vote.
In December, Twitter banned white nationalist Richard Spencer for utilizing “multiple accounts with overlapping uses.” Former Breitbart tech editor and far-right agitator Milo Yiannopoulos was also banned from Twitter last year for a harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.
Yiannopoulos decried the ban in a public “eulogy” to Twitter in September. “As Twitter systematically bans the best and most creative users and turns their site into an unholy alliance of crybaby SJWs and militant Islamists, regular users have come to the conclusion that Twitter is not the place to be anymore.,” he said.
Twitter’s vice president of Engineering Ed Ho said new steps to counter Twitter’s often toxic climate will focus mostly on accounts that are used “only to abuse and harass others.”