Twitter has restored the account of Andrew Anglin, one of America’s most notorious neo-Nazis. The creator of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer had been banned from the social media platform for nearly a decade. His return would appear to be part of Elon Musk’s offer of “general amnesty” to users who had “not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” Anglin, it should be noted, is currently in hiding while attempting to avoid a 2019 court order to pay $14 million for leading a harassment campaign against Jewish residents in Montana.
Shortly after regaining control of his account, Anglin tweeted a defense of Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. “Saying you love Hitler is not even a big deal,” Anglin said, referencing Ye’s recent InfoWars interview. “No one cares about that. The man died 80 years ago.” Ye’s now-infamous interview with Alex Jones saw the rapper declare his “love” for Adolf Hitler and deny that the Holocaust had ever happened. Anglin later tweeted an endorsement of Ye’s 2024 presidential campaign.
The reinstatement comes in the same week Twitter suspended Ye for tweeting a photo of the Star of David merged with a swastika. Anglin is only one of a few prominent white nationalists to return to Twitter following Elon Musk’s takeover of the company. One estimate by software engineer Travis Brown suggests Twitter has restored as many as 12,000 accounts since October 27th, including those belonging to Richard Spencer and Patrick Casey.
The return of even just one avowed neo-Nazi is likely to reinforce fears from civil rights groups, advertisers and governments over Elon Musk’s handling of the platform. On November 26th, the billionaire claimed hate speech impressions had recently decreased compared to October last year. However, findings from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups that study online platforms suggest that there’s been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of hate speech on Twitter since Musk’s takeover.
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