Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin has been reinstated to Twitter under Elon Musk’s new policies for the platform. The founder of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer had been banned from Twitter since 2013.
Anglin has publicly indicated that the goal of his operation and adherence to white nationalist ideology is to “ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated.” Anglin is a staunch supporter of Nazi ideology and regularly espouses Holocaust denail. In 2018, Anglin wrote that he “[hates] women. I think they deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages.”
Almost immediately upon having his account reinstated, Anglin tweeted a response to rapper Ye praising Hitler and denying the Holocaust on Alex Jones’ show. “Saying you love Hitler is not even a big deal,” Anglin wrote, “no one cares about that. The man died 80 years ago.” Anglin also endorsed Ye in his presidential run.
Musk suspended Ye from Twitter Thursday night after he tweeted out an image of a swastika intertwined with a Star of David.
The return of an avowed neo-Nazi to Twitter under Musk’s guarantee to reinstate banned accounts reinforces the concerns brought forth by civil society groups and advertisers over his handling of content standards on the platform. Under Musk, prominent white nationalists including Patrick Casey and Richard Spencer have reportedly been reinstated or been able to verify their accounts through Twitter’s recently launched pay-for-verification scheme.
In 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center won a $14 million lawsuit brought against Anglin on behalf of Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real-estate agent, after Anglin directed an intense harassment campaign against her and her family. On Nov. 9, a Montana judge issued a bench warrant for Anglin’s arrest on grounds that he had ignored the judgment. Anglin’s physical whereabouts are currently unknown and he has long maintained he resides outside of the U.S.
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Anglin was named as a defendant in a lawsuit against several extremists accused of planning the deadly 2017 Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville. Anglin entered a default judgment and did not participate in the trial.
In October, Musk promised advertisers that the platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” once he was in charge. But less than three months into his tenure, the platform has become a playground for gleeful extremists rejoicing at their renowned access to a global follower base. The New York Times released a report on Friday showing that hate speech on the platform has soared dramatically since Musk’s takeover.