Katie Hopkins’ Twitter account permanently suspended

Trump-endorsed far-right commentator banned for breaching ‘hateful conduct policy’, spokesperson says

Vincent Wood
Friday 19 June 2020 17:55 BST
Katie Hopkins’ Twitter account permanently suspended

Far-right British commentator and former newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins has been permanently suspended from Twitter, the social media giant has said.

Ms Hopkins, who has been repeatedly retweeted by US president Donald Trump, gained more than 1.1 million followers on the site before her suspension, which came hours after she had complained she had lost her blue tick “verified” status.

In a statement a spokesperson for the social media firm said: “Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us – abuse and hateful conduct have no place on our service and we will continue to take action when our rules are broken.

“In this case, the account has been permanently suspended for violations of our Hateful Conduct policy”.

A previous contestant on reality show The Apprentice, Ms Hopkins forged a career as a commentator at a number of media outlets – many of which she would leave amid outcry over her views on immigration and Islam.

The UN intervened after a column in The Sun in which Ms Hopkins described migrants as “cockroaches” and “feral humans”, while in 2017 she left a job at radio station LBC after posting a tweet calling for a “final solution” shortly after the Manchester Arena bombing.

She has since seen her views pushed to the media fringes, most notably appearing on Canadian website Rebel Media which also features contributions from English Defence League Founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – better known by his moniker Tommy Robinson.

However she has repeatedly seen her profile boosted by the man at the helm of the world’s leading superpower. Donald Trump, also formerly of The Apprentice, has shared a number of posts from Ms Hopkins including attacks on London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Twitter, along with sites like Facebook and YouTube, has attempted to de-platform a number of far right figures in recent years including Mr Robinson and those behind groups like Britain First. In response many have taken to fringe sites with a focus on free speech including Telegram and Russian social media site VK – operating with a diminished audience while still able to disseminate their messages.

However social media giants have faced ongoing criticism for being slow to respond to those spreading hate on their platforms.

Iman Atta, director of Islamophobia monitoring organisation Tell Mama UK, said: “We are not going to pat Twitter on the back and thank them for removing the account of Hopkins. They kept that account open to generate more gusto and discussions on their platform so they used her and she used them. These mendacious relationships need to end.

“Twitter now acts on the actions of #BlackLivesMatter. Does it take millions of people to react for this obstructive company which is a law unto itself to act? They have regularly let down Bame people when subjected to racist hate. Shameless they are.”

It comes as 280-character social media platform takes an increasingly stern approach to the spreading of misinformation and hate speech on the site from high-profile sources previously protected by the company’s policy on keeping up posts where the discussion around them is “in the public interest”.

In recent weeks Mr Trump, who has tweeted with impunity throughout his presidency, has seen posts flagged as containing manipulated media and glorifying violence.

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