Salon: “Groyper” guru Nick Fuentes returns to Twitter (briefly): Hateful content keeps flowing
Salon: "Groyper" guru Nick Fuentes returns to Twitter (briefly): Hateful content keeps flowing
Nick Fuentes, the white nationalist youth activist and founder of the far-right “groyper” movement — who shared an infamous dinner with Ye and Donald Trump in November — had his verified Twitter account reinstated last Tuesday, only to be suspended again a day later. Fuentes was first suspended from the platform in July 2021 “for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.”
Fuentes’ brief return to the platform, thanks to Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s purported commitment to unfettered “free speech,” didn’t last long. …
Social media platforms are not government entities and are not subject to the First Amendment’s free speech guarantees. Nearly all of them have carefully worked-out policies against hate speech, disinformation, harassment or violent conduct, aimed at creating a non-threatening environment for civil discourse and communication, said Yosef Getachew, a media and democracy program director at Common Cause. Allowing a blatantly bigoted and disruptive user like Fuentes back on Twitter sends a clear signal that the platform is failing to enforce its own policies, he added.
“You’re creating an environment where users may feel threatened, harassed or attacked, or you could be inciting others to engage in offline violence,” Getachew said. “That’s essentially how the [Jan. 6] insurrection started, given that millions of users were exposed to harmful content and were asked to organize and mobilize offline to try and overthrow our government. It’s the same type of pattern.” …
Fuentes and his groypers have strategically used different social media platforms and internet spaces to spread their messages and coordinate harassment campaigns. For example, during a 2019 Turning Point USA event featuring Donald Trump Jr. at UCLA, groypers showed up in large numbers, demanding that Trump Jr. answer their questions.
At another event that same weekend featuring Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, the groyper army tried to monopolize the Q&A session with questions about Israel, Vox reported. Their apparent goal with such disruptions is to record video clips that have the potential to go viral on social media.
“There are reports out there that these groups are organizing, that they’re harassing individuals, that they’re building momentum,” Getachew said. “A lot of times, those kinds of things are not taken into account. Platforms are just looking to see what’s going on in this particular moment, rather than the bigger picture.”