Milo joins the Brighton Grammar Two

Famous Twitter harasser Milo Yiannopoulos has finally been banned altogether from the social platform that made him internet-famous. It’s about time. The guy has built a career (however shoddy) on sadistically torturing people via Twitter.

Twitter has permanently banned a rightwing writer and notorious troll for his role in the online abuse of Leslie Jones over her role in the Ghostbusters reboot.

Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for, tweeted as @Nero. Before he was banned, he had more than 338,000 followers and called himself “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet” for his provocations online.

A known contrarian who likened rape culture to Harry Potter (“both fantasy”) and affectionately referred to Donald Trump as “daddy”, he emerged as a spokesman for the “alt-right” in the wake of the Gamergate movement.

“Contrarian” is a stupid word for what he does. Contrary to what? It’s not as if misogyny is an obscure or minority outlook. I suppose he’s “contrarian” in the sense that the “orthodox” view is that we shouldn’t bully strangers on social media for giggles.

Yiannopolous told his suspension was “cowardly”, and evidence that Twitter was a “no-go zone for conservatives”.

“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.

“This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”

Blah blah blah blah. Mommy interfered with his free speech when she told him not to be rude to his classmates, people on the street, people in shops, people on the bus, dinner guests.

Here’s the thing, Milo: free speech is about public discourse and substantive disagreement and minority opinion. It is not an ironclad rule that everyone should be as rude as possible at all times in all situations and all media. It’s not a law that protects your right to harass people. Free speech doesn’t extend to harassment.

On Monday, Jones had started publicising some of the abuse she had received on the platform, much of it singling her out for being black and a woman.

After she made public pleas for Twitter to intervene, its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, asked her to make contact late on Monday night.

But she later appeared to quit the platform “with tears and a very sad heart”.

So Milo jeered at her for being a victim.

A spokesman for Twitter said in a statement that “permanent suspension” was one of a number of steps that had been taken to address the uptick in offending accounts since Jones began rallying against her abusers.

“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. 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.”

In theory they do, but in practice Twitter almost never enforces those rules. Milo is the exception, not the rule.

The statement also addressed criticisms that the platform does not go far enough to protect its users, particularly women and people of colour.

“We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders.”

Nowhere near enough. They get reports on people who harass nonstop for hours every day, and they reply saying “No problem here, sorry not sorry.”

A review of Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy” was under way and would prohibit more types of abusive behaviour as well as allow more forms of reporting, “with the goal of reducing the burden on the person being targeted”.

More details on those changes were due in the coming weeks, said the spokesman.

They’ve said that before. It didn’t happen.

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