Tech

Twitter has finally blocked the King of Trolls

Posted by
David Cornish
Published

Twitter has a troll problem.

Whimsical though it might sound, the level of abuse, racism and general hate that flutters around the social networking site is less Shrek, more Nightmare On Elm Street.

Take the recent events that have seen Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones quit the Twittersphere: following the launch of the film, Jones was faced with a barrage of abusive Tweets, culminating in someone creating a fake account that appeared to mirror Jones' own (though lacking the blue 'Verified' tick) which proceeded to cause further issues for the actress. 

It was at this point that the 'King of Trolls', the self-proclaimed "supervillain of the internet" Milo Yiannopoulos became involved in events - which would eventually result in him being blocked from Twitter.

Who is Milo Yiannopoulos?

Who is Milo Yiannopoulos?

In short - Milo Yiannopoulos isn't important. 

Really, he's not. Any words written about him will only expand the ego bubble he exists in, and likely enlarge the following he has amassed. 

A journalist and entrepreneur, he founded online tech mag The Kernel - a project that landed Yiannopoulos in hot water when it transpired the mag hadn't paid a contributor. After seeking payment, Yiannopoulos apparently threatened the contributor, suggesting he would release "embarrassing details and photographs" of them. 

Yiannopoulos was also embroiled in the deeply disturbing 'Gamergate' argument, which you can read up on here.

He eventually sold The Kernel, and now writes about technology for the website Breitbart.

What role did Yiannopoulos have in getting Jones to quit Twitter?

Yiannopoulos posted a review of Ghostbusters that would surprise no one: he didn't like it.

He then proceeded to Tweet Jones, suggesting that her response to racist abuse was in fact a result of her playing  'the victim'.

"If at first you don't succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim.

EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS https://t.co/W572qB4Vqw

— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) July 18, 2016"

Eventually, Jones quit Twitter

Twitter's CEO even reached out to Jones after she voiced her concerns that the site lacked guidelines on free speech, but she proceeded to quit the site "with tears and a very sad heart".

So what's happened now?

So what's happened now?

Twitter proceeded to take action against many of the accounts that had targeted Jones - including deleting Yiannopoulos' account @Nero, which had a following of over 300,000.

The writer gave comment to Breitbart on the deletion:

"With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.

"Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber’s fans cut themselves on his behalf?

"Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot.

"This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter."

And now people want to get Yiannopoulos back on Twitter

As mentioned, Yiannopoulos isn't important. This needs to be the final time his name generates headlines and brings people to his cause.

A quick follow of #FreeMilo will introduce you to two responses to Yiannopoulos: those who support him and those who don't. 

Give them a read if you will. Or just go back to using Twitter without attempting to hate anyone. Your call.