When Leslie Jones pleaded with Twitter to revise their policies around abuse (following a series of vicious racist and sexist attacks), the social media company offered little by way of an apology at first. Only a day later was gay Republican Twitter troll and Jones adversary Milo Yiannopoulos officially and completely kicked off the site.
Yiannopoulos has been suspended from Twitter on numerous occasions in the past, but the final hammer came down this week after complaints about the noxious conservative reached a zenith. A Twitter spokesman had this to say in a statement on the decision: “People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter. But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”
The notorious alt-right figurehead had become a loud opponent of the Ghostbusters series and helped to incite the attacks on Jones as a political statement against feminism. In his review of the reboot, Yiannopoulos wrote: "Ghostbusters, the film acting as standard bearer for the social justice left, is full of female characters that are simply stand-ins for men plus a black character worthy of a minstrel show… Patty [played by Leslie Jones] is the worst of the lot. The actress is spectacularly unappealing, even relative to the rest of the odious cast. But it’s her flat-as-a-pancake black stylings that ought to have irritated the SJWs. I don’t get offended by such things, but they should.”
Commenting on the ban, Milo said the following: “I did nothing wrong. Twitter has suspended me without evidence of wrongdoing and without explanation while allowing the most appalling abuses to continue on its platform. This is political, plain and simple. Leslie Jones ain’t afraid of no ghost—but evidently she’s allergic to bad reviews.”
But, as noted by Out, it wasn't the bad reviews that were the problem: it was the extreme hatred being slung in her direction simply because of her existence as a black woman. And that extreme hatred has been directly fueled by Yiannoppoulos and his ilk.
Now, Gamergaters, anti-feminists, radical rightwingers, and other men's rights activists are rallying around the #FreeMilo hashtag to protest Twitter's decision. “What a humiliating end to a wonderful run," continued Yiannipoulos. "I thought it could at least be getting into a fight with somebody serious, but no—it was the tertiary star of a f*cking terrible feminist flop.”
If you're unfamiliar with Yiannipoulous' odious body of work, here's just a brief selection of some of the insane, horrible things he's done: he's created a scholarship exclusively granted to straight white men, he's suggested that hunting men with over 20% body fat should be legal, he's worked as the tech editor for ultra-conservative blog Breitbart, and he's blamed feminists for politicizing the video game industry.
Just yesterday, Yiannipoulous hosted a headline grabbing "Gays for Trump" party at the Republican National Convention.
The confusing event, which comes shortly after the GOP officially released an extremely anti-LGBT platform, became a venue for many to express pro-gun and extreme anti-Muslim sentiments which Salon described as "strikingly reminiscent of the extreme anti-Semitism of the early 20th century."