This weekend, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, and now Ye, formerly Kanye West, caused a stir with his content moderation policies on Twitter, putting on full display his disturbing, early vision for the platform.
On Friday night, West returned to Twitter for the first time since November 2020, posting a hazy photo of himself and Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg performing karaoke with the caption, “Look at this Mark, How you gone take me off instagram.” According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, Instagram has verified that the service has suspended West’s account and deleted content due to repeated rules breaches. On Sunday, West’s account was still accessible, but it was presumably temporarily locked to prevent further posts.
All of West’s recent Instagram postings appear to be screenshots from messages; the offending post appears to be an exchange with Sean “Diddy” Combs in which West uses anti-semitic tropes, including an accusation that Combs is controlled by “the Jewish people.”
Musk, who will soon be the sole owner of Twitter, rushed to the embattled musician’s defence, inviting him back to the site despite his recent anti-semitic tweets.
Twelve hours after Musk’s cordial welcome, West tweeted further anti-semitic conspiracy theories, perhaps seeing it as permission to do so. West tweeted on Saturday night, “I’m a bit drowsy now, but when I wake up I’m gonna death [sic] con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” To paraphrase, “… you people have messed with me and tried to black ball everybody who opposes your plan.”
Despite Musk’s blessing, Twitter deleted the post and restricted West’s account “due to a breach of Twitter’s policy,” a Twitter spokeswoman confirmed to TechCrunch. The remark had referenced anti-Jewish tropes commonly propagated by white nationalists.
West caused a ruckus at Paris Fashion Week when he debuted a new line in a pop-up warehouse exhibition, complete with a shirt reading “White Lives Matter.” West’s attack on Vogue Editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson for calling his prank “very disrespectful, aggressive, and deadly” rapidly polarised the fashion world against him.