Since the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, who defines himself as an absolutist of freedom of expression, the platform has a little air of Gotham City, the fictional city of Batman, the day after the opening of the prisons of Arkham Asylum. After “consulting” his massively libertarian and pro-Trump subscriber base, the richest man in the world revoked nearly 12,000 accounts that had been suspended for anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic, transphobic or incitement to violence. Overview in ten portraits of the main characters, all English speakers, who have returned to Musk’s social network.
Donald Trump, the putschist ex-president
Neo-Nazi youth star Andrew Anglin
Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon antivax MP
Project Veritas, the Trumpist and misleading “investigative media”
Republican White Supremacy Patrick Casey
“Sargon of Akkad”, the player turned Islamophobic theorist
James Lindsay, the homophobic ideologue
The Babylon Bee, the transphobic “Gorafi” of reactionary America
Andrew Tate, kickboxer and masculinist entrepreneur
Kanye West/Ye, the visiting anti-Semitic rapper
- Donald Trump, the putschist ex-president
His last message date 8 January 2021: “For all those wondering, I am not going to the nomination on January 20th [du président démocrate Joe Biden] ». Almost two years later, the account of Donald Trump, like the former president, seems frozen in his election defeat, which he continues to dispute and ruminate.
Two days after the attack on the Capitol, his page, with more than 80 million subscribers, had been “permanently suspended” by Twitter. In a rare decision, the platform had estimated that his last messages, unequivocal public denials of the results of the suffrage, had helped to motivate his most ardent supporters. Since then, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been doing it publicly announced of his regret, regretful one “business decision” WHO “shouldn’t have been”.
Elon Musk, who during the 2020 election campaign had multiplied signs of collusion with Donald Trump without openly calling for a vote for him, relied on an online survey, in which 15 million Internet users participated in mid-November, to restore the former president’s account. This highly symbolic decision, presented as “vox populi”, did not have quite the expected effect. The billionaire who made more than 30,000 false or misleading claims during his tenure, according to washington posthas so far refused to return to tweeting, preferring to stay on Truth Social, the competing social network he created.
- Neo-Nazi youth star Andrew Anglin
Among the accounts recovered by Elon Musk, few have gotten as much ink flowing as that of this 38-year-old far-right activist. The editor of The Daily Stormerthe most influential American neo-Nazi site, is accustomed to anti-Semitic, negationist, misogynistic and supremacist claims that divide itself within the spheres of the extreme right.
The one who makes it his mission to make “white nations must be cleansed of non-white ethnicities” is one of the oldest banned from Twitter: his account was suspended in 2013. Elon Musk allowed him to come back with his 10,000 subscribers. “I deleted all the old stuff that was on this account. I will strictly follow the rules, whatever they are”, he swore. This did not stop him from suggesting that Kanye West is a candidate for the presidency of the United States, the day after a tweet from the rapper that paid tribute to Hitler.
- Marjorie Taylor Greene, QAnon antivax MP
For her part, QAnon conspirator and elected Trumpist in the Georgia State House of Representatives, Marjorie Taylor Greene, relays a slew of anti-vaccine rumors and allegations of voter fraud to nearly 2 million subscribers. In January 2022, in the name of fighting medical misinformation, Twitter had permanently suspended his account while attributing “extremely high number of deaths” vaccines against Covid-19. “I am the only US congresswoman permanently banned by the unelected Big Tech oligarchs”she was annoyed before Elon Musk restored her access on November 22.
- Project Veritas, the Trumpist and misleading “investigative media”
Founded in 2010, this sulphurous far-right US media outlet specializes in hidden camera punch videos with militant bias and deceptive editing. A ten-minute sequence had caused a sensation as far as France: three Pfizer employees, falsely presented as scientists responsible for the development of the anti-Covid vaccine, excused natural immunity in hidden camera. Project Veritas also tried, unsuccessfully, to manipulate washington post, who won the Pulitzer Prize for demonstrating the deception. Suspended in February 2021, the account of one million subscribers was restored on November 23. His first message? Thanks to Elon Musk for “support for true investigative journalism”and a teaser about child trafficking, another antiphon for Trumpist conspiracy.
- Patrick Casey, the Republican Trojan Horse
Patrick Casey was the leader of the American far-right identity group Identity Evropa, which disbanded and then reformed in 2000, adopting the name American Identity Movement. The group had set itself the goal of influencing the Republican Party to normalize the ideas of white supremacy and neo-Nazism with the aim of creating a “America 90% White”. Several accounts managed by Mr. Casey under false identities had been blocked by Twitter in recent years. “That I am allowed to come back is a good sign”he welcomed, before describing Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter as an example of“unexpected and providential event”.
- “Sargon of Akkad”, the player turned Islamophobic theorist
Sargon of Akkad, Carl Benjamin in civilian status, 265,000 subscribers since his return, is a far-right British YouTuber who became known during the neo-reactionary and anti-feminist movement called “GamerGate”, which animated the video game center from 2014 to 2016. He posted misogynist and anti-immigration videos there. He had been banned from Twitter in 2018 for inciting hate; the same year he debated “scientific racism” in a video with American neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and co-created a political association with British anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson.
In 2019, Carl Benjamin was a candidate for the ultra-conservative and pro-Brexit UKIP party in the European Parliament elections. “Thank you for bringing me back to life”he tweeted in his first message back on Nov. 22, claiming to be “another man”. While he called for the restoration of the accounts of Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, two figures of the far right Trumpist.
- James Lindsay, the homophobic ideologue
Mathematician and author of several books on social issues, James Lindsay was a few years ago a writer who presented himself as progressive but critical of “cancel culture” and the American left’s excesses of certain forms of activism. His Twitter account had been suspended at the beginning of the year, at the end of a radicalization that caused him to cut himself off from several of his former allies, including in the conservative camp. In particular, he had stated that the rainbow flag, symbol of the LGBTQ+ community, was “hostile enemy flag”and mentioned the risk of a “white genocide”. Back with 300,000 subscribers, he promises to “defeat the pedophiles”a term by which it refers to homosexual people.
- The Babylon Bee, the transphobic parody of reactionary America
Pediatrician Rachel Levine, US Assistant Secretary of Health since March 2021, has been assigned a boy at birth, and is the first transgender person to hold such a high office in the US administration. In March 2022, the daily USA today selects her from its list of women of the year 2022. An honor that inspires the Babylonbee with a mocking article. This American parody site followed by 2 million internet users refers to Rachel Levine “man of the year” a stroke of transphobic humor for which his Twitter account was partially suspended “hate behavior.” His account was restored in mid-November by Elon Musk. ” We’re back. Put it in your head, welcomed the Babylon Bee in its return message. Among the responses, one tweet sparked excitement in his community. He simply said: “Rachel Levine is a man.”
- Andrew Tate, kickboxer and masculinist entrepreneur
An Anglo-American citizen, Andrew Tate is a former kickboxing champion turned influencer. He publishes virulent and misogynistic content and was a regular guest on InfoWars, the show of American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. His accounts on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have all been suspended in the past two years due to his misogynistic outbursts – for example, holding female rape victims responsible for what happened to them. After a five-year suspension, his Twitter account was reactivated in mid-November. “I’m waiting for free spirit”he immediately tweeted, promisingly sharing a link to paid training “alpha males” the solution to “Leaving the Matrix”.
- Kanye West/Ye, the visiting anti-Semitic rapper
Among this gallery of accounts restored by Elon Musk, the rap megastar is an exception: he was able to enjoy his Twitter access again in October, three months after being suspended for anti-Semitic remarks, before being banned again by Musk himself on December 2.
The day before under his new stage name ” Yes »the artist had praised Adolf Hitler on the show of US conspiracy mogul Alex Jones before sharing a picture of a swastika in a Star of David with his 30 million subscribers, convincing the new boss of the platform to ban him again. ” I did my best. Despite this, he again broke our rules on the prohibition of incitement to violence”Mr. Musk reasoned.