The company on Friday suspended both the group’s main account, @ProudBoysUSA, and the group’s founder Gavin McInnes, a co-founder of Vice Media, from its platform and its video-streaming network Periscope. Other Proud Boys-affiliated accounts were also suspended, including the group’s regional accounts for California, Georgia and Washington, D.C.
A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed to BuzzFeed that the accounts were suspended for “violating our policy prohibiting violent extremist groups.”
Forgot to post this earlier: I asked Proud Boy/Patriot Prayer member Tusitala ‘Tiny’ Toese about his PINOCHET WAS RIGHT t-shirt.
“Didn’t Pinochet kill like 35,000 people?” I asked him.
The Twitter ousting comes days before the white supremacist Unite the Right 2 rally on Sunday. The demonstration marks the anniversary of the deadly demonstration held in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year. Heather Heyer, 32, died during that rally when a man rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters.
McInnes, who left Vice in 2008, founded the Proud Boys, a far-right group that describes itself as “Western chauvinists,” two years ago.
Since then, many of the group’s members have shown up at far-right rallies ― including the Portland, Oregon, rally earlier this month and the original Charlottesville conflict ― bringing with them aggression, Fred Perry polo shirts, helmets and body armor.
While Proud Boys attend far-right rallies also frequented by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, McInnes has tried to differentiate between his group and others on the far right. He has disavowed the Charlottesville rally and other groups considered part of the “alt-right” movement.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Proud Boys as a hate group.
Jones took to Twitter on Friday to express his outrage over the Proud Boys ban, calling it “discriminatory” and “election-meddling.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced scrutiny earlier this week for refusing to ban Jones, who once peddled a conspiracy theory that inspired an armed man to storm a Washington, D.C., pizza shop with an assault rifle.
Dorsey defended his decision by arguing that Jones hadn’t violated any of Twitters’ policies.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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