Twitter (or X following Elon Musk’s rebrand) is welcoming Kanye West back to its platform following an 8-month ban for violating a policy prohibiting the active incitement of violence. Musk has held himself out as a “free-speech absolutist” and has said that he is not a proponent of a lifetime ban for a user’s misuse of their account. West’s profile is not eligible for monetization or ad-sharing even though he has the gold checkmark, which usually confers both of those privileges. West was banned in October 2022 for making threats against Jewish people and posting an image of the Star of David with a swastika inside it.
According to an anonymous source’s account, West’s Twitter was reinstated after he made promises not to post any more anti-Semitic content on his account. Leaders of groups like the Anti-Defamation League, The Creative Community for Peace, and Stop AntiSemitism are not happy that West has had his account reactivated so casually. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted his displeasure on June 29, “Absolutely sickening that antisemite Kanye West was unsuspended from Twitter/X and given a gold verification check mark. He’s done absolutely nothing to make amends.” Greenblatt also pointed out the rise in right-wing/extremist accounts on Twitter and asked the platform why it allows flagrant anti-Semitism on its platform.
Absolutely sickening that antisemite Kanye West was unsuspended from Twitter/X and given a gold verification check mark. He’s done absolutely nothing to make amends. https://t.co/a35edtRI5t
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) July 30, 2023
West has not made any tweets since his profile was reactivated. However, West’s reactivation is the latest indication that Twitter seems uninterested in curbing extremist views on its site. In January 2023, HateAid and the European Union of Jewish Students reported a series of tweets to the platform. Those tweets appeared to be in clear violation of the platform’s own guidelines but were not taken down, as reported by The Guardian. Since Twitter was threatened with a lawsuit over the tweets, they have since been taken down. Avital Grinberg from the EUJS describes what led their group to go after Twitter: “All our efforts and advocacy have led nowhere, and Twitter has become a space where antisemitism and Holocaust denial is just growing and growing. This is so much bigger than us, so we needed the biggest and strongest tool that democracy has to offer and that is the law.”