Katie Hopkins’ Twitter account suspended

Move comes after ‘Countdown’ star Rachel Riley and campaigners demand action from social network

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Thursday 30 January 2020 12:09 GMT
Katie Hopkins’ Twitter account suspended

Far-right commentator Katie Hopkins has been suspended from Twitter following calls for the social network to carry out a “full review” of her account.

Campaigners had accused her of spreading hate on the platform, where several of her tweets have been shared by Donald Trump, the US president.

Ms Hopkins’ account has more than one million followers, having survived a series of Twitter takedowns targeting activists including Tommy Robinson and the far-right group Britain First.

The only tweet still visible on her main profile page on Thursday morning was from a critic accusing her of inciting racial hatred in messages directed at the rapper Stormzy.

Twitter said that Ms Hopkins had been temporarily locked out of her account for violating the site’s hateful-conduct policy, which bans the promotion of violence or inciting harm on the basis of race, religion, national origin or gender identity.

The move came a little over a day after Rachel Riley, a co-presenter of Channel 4’s Countdown and an anti-racism campaigner, met Twitter representatives calling for them to review and remove Ms Hopkins’ account.

The meeting was organised by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) campaign group, which called for Twitter to permanently delete the account.

“We are pleased that preliminary action appears to have been taken by Twitter against the identity-based hate actor, Katie Hopkins following productive discussions with Twitter’s UK office,” said CCDH’s chief executive, Imran Ahmed.

“There is a long road ahead before social media is made safe for dialogue, information exchange and the formation and maintenance of relationships.

“The fact parents are so hesitant and fearful of allowing children on to social media platforms shows how toxic many of these environments have become.

“We believe social media can empower the world to be even better, but handing megaphones to hate actors is irresponsible and dangerous.”

Ms Riley said she was “pleased to see that action appears to have been taken”, but added that she had also called for the removal of George Galloway’s account, which remains online.

A spokesperson for Twitter said: “Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us – abuse and harassment have no place on the service. We take enforcement action against any account that is violative of our rules – which includes violations of our hateful conduct policy and abusive behaviour policy.

Katie Hopkins sacked by LBC

“These rules apply to everyone using our service – regardless of the account involved.”

Numerous retweets remained visible on Ms Hopkins’ account and it was unclear whether she or Twitter had removed the other posts.

Ms Hopkins’ following on Twitter increased dramatically after Mr Trump shared a series of her tweets, including posts attacking the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and US Democrats.

She originally found fame on BBC1’s The Apprentice before appearing on a series of reality television shows and forging a career as a provocative commentator.

She lost jobs writing for The Sun and Daily Mail in the wake of scandals that included a 2015 column calling refugees “cockroaches”, which the United Nations said resembled genocidal propaganda.

In 2017, Ms Hopkins left her job at the LBC radio station after posting a tweet calling for a “final solution” in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.

The following year she applied for an insolvency agreement in a last-ditch attempt to avoid bankruptcy after losing a libel case to food writer and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe.

However, Ms Hopkins has continued to appear on international television – recently discussing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – and to support figures such as Tommy Robinson at UK events.

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