I have to be honest here – it’s hard not to write this without a smile on my face. Since Yiannopoulos first came to wider prominence during his involvement (indeed, his co-opting) of the GamerGate movement, he’s been a hard man to avoid. On Twitter, he and his team of interns and followers have launched torrents of abuse at any number of other users, but it seems Twitter has at last taken action.
As of minutes ago, Twitter has announced that Milo Yiannopoulos has been permanently banned from the service.
The latest furore began when Yiannopoulos pointed his 300,000-plus followers at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones. Over the next 24 hours she was targeted with racial and sexual abuse and harassment, culminating in the creation of a false account in her name that then went on to post inflammatory and homophobic comments. Soon after, the comedian and actor left Twitter, unable to cope with the level of hatred.
Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos revelled in the attention.
This morning, Twitter revealed that it was aware of the up-tick in harassment, and that it was against the service’s rules. It banned a number of the more vocal harassers, and now Twitter has admitted that there is much more to be done to tackle online hate. In a statement, the company said:
We know many people believe we have not done enough to curb this type of behavior on Twitter. We agree. We are continuing to invest heavily in improving our tools and enforcement systems to better allow us to identify and take faster action on abuse as it’s happening and prevent repeat offenders. We have been in the process of reviewing our hateful conduct policy to prohibit additional types of abusive behavior and allow more types of reporting, with the goal of reducing the burden on the person being targeted. We’ll provide more details on those changes in the coming weeks.
And now, if you look up Milo’s own account, this is all you find:
Don’t let the virtual door hit you on the way out, Milo.