Twitter has shut down former KKK leader David Duke's account

  • The Twitter account of David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, has been permanently suspended..
  • A Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider the suspension was for "for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct," and was in line with recently updated policy on tweeting "harmful links."
  • Asked about why Duke's account remained active earlier this month, a Twitter spokesperson said he is no longer a member of the KKK.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Twitter on Thursday permanently suspended the Twitter account of David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Duke's account has been active since 2009, according to an archived version on the Wayback Machine, and had more than 53,000 followers.

Activist account Sleeping Giants first spotted that Duke's account had been suspended.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the suspension to Business Insider, saying the account has been "permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct. This enforcement action is in line with our recently-updated guidance on harmful links."

Twitter's "harmful links" policy means it can suspend accounts which tweet links to harmful content. Previously, this meant links that might infect a user with malware, or websites associated with terrorist groups. On Tuesday, July 28, it updated its harmful links policy to inlcude "hateful conduct and violence."

 

Duke's YouTube channel was also suspended in late June for violating the platform's policies on hate speech.

When asked about Duke's then-active account earlier this month, a Twitter spokesperson told Gizmodo that Duke was not currently a member of the KKK and "has distanced himself from the organization publicly."

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Duke began to distance himself from the KKK in the late 1970s, and in 1981 founded the "National Association for the Advancement of White People." The SPLC characterizes Duke as a "neo-Nazi" and an "international spokesman for Holocaust denial."

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