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January 24, 2023 05:18 pm GMT

Elon Musk reinstates white nationalist Nick Fuentes' Twitter account

Nick Fuentes

Elon Musk's Twitter is continuing its streak of bringing back some of the worst people to the platform with possibly its most noxious user yet.

Nick Fuentes, the 24-year-old white nationalist, Holocaust denier, and founder of the far-right Groypers, had his verified Twitter account reinstated on Tuesday. Fuentes sent his first and, so far, only tweet at 7:30am EST, which included nothing more than an image of Patrick Star from the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants nonchalantly pushing open a set of doors.

Fuentes has been described by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist.Fans of Fuentes' welcomed him back to Twitter with far-right memes, racist imagery, and photos of Adolf Hitler.

While Musk's Twitter has brought back numerous previously-banned right-wing users ranging from former president Donald Trump to Stop the Steal leader Ali Alexander, the reinstatement of Nick Fuentes is certainly an interesting one.

In December of last year, Elon Musk personally suspended rapper Kanye West from Twitter after West posted an image of a swastika connected to a Star of David as well as unflattering photos of Musk, shirtless on a yacht. West, who was in the midst of a media tour promoting a supposed presidential campaign, had been making anti-semitic remarks in the weeks before his Twitter suspension.

Fuentes had started to regularly appear at West's side during this time. It was later announced that Fuentes joined West's campaign as an advisor. On the day of West's Twitter suspension, he and Fuentes had appeared on right wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' show, where West declared his "love" for Adolf Hitler while Fuentes looked on, nodding in agreement.

Fuentes was originally suspended from Twitter in July 2021. At the time, a Twitter spokesperson only shared that Fuentes had been suspended for "permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules." Extremism experts and researchers had long criticized Twitter for allowing Fuentes on the platform, with a legacy verified checkmark as well, well after most other social media platforms gave him the boot.

Since Elon Musk acquired the social media platform, however, many far-right users who had been "permanently suspended" from Twitter have since been allowed back on the platform. Musk's Twitter has reinstated accounts like Fuentes' while simultaneously suspending prominent left-leaning users like disinformation and cybersecurity expert Chad Loder.

It's unclear why Twitter has chosen to reinstate Nick Fuentes' account at this particular time. While some formerly suspended users have had help from high-profile right-wing influencers lobbying Musk to reinstate their accounts, others found their accounts reinstated seemingly at random along with large swaths of other users.

Another suspended far-right Twitter user known for sharing antisemitic views, Patrick Howley, was also reinstated today.

Mashable has contacted Twitter for comment. This story will be updated if Twitter responds, though it's important to note that Twitter has not had a communications team in place since Musk acquired the company.


Original Link: https://mashable.com/article/elon-musk-twitter-reinstates-nick-fuentes-kanye-west-advisor

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