So-Called "Twitter Purge" Deletes Accounts of Prominent White Supremacists, Hate Groups

  • December 19, 2017

Following Monday's implementation of new safety rules on Twitter, a number of users associated with white supremacy and other hateful ideologies found themselves no longer allowed on the platform.

"ADL commends Twitter for taking these significant steps to tackle hate on their platform. We long urged Twitter to push back against hateful and violent rhetoric, and these latest actions are encouraging," CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. "Transparency about their guidelines can build trust between users and the general public even further. We know there is no magic wand, and challenges remain. We are committed to working with Twitter and other companies to continue the fight against hate online."

The ADL's Center on Extremism has tracked known individual and group accounts included in the so-called "Twitter Purge".

The list here is not exhaustive but provides a sampling of the actions taken by Twitter today, which many extremists described as being "shoah'd". White supremacists, particularly from the alt right, turn the word “Shoah” (Hebrew for “catastrophe,” typically used as a reference for the Holocaust) into a verb for some sort of negative action, such as having one’s social media account being deleted, as in “I got shoah’d by Twitter.” The white supremacists do so to mock and trivialize the Holocaust, equating the mass murder of millions with things such as being booted from an Internet platform.

The so-called purge has actually been very small so far. Well-known white supremacists such as David Duke, Richard Spencer, Mike Peinovich aka Mike Enoch, and Augustus Invictus just to name a few, remain on Twitter, as do countless of their followers.

Banned Accounts

American Nazi Party @anp14

Led by Rocky Suhayda of Michigan, the American Nazi Party has a few dozen active members nationwide and publishes a crude newsletter called the White Worker.

Generation Identity @gen_identity

Generation Identity is an Islamophobic and racist organization focused on “defending Europe” from foreigners. Identitarians espouse racism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of their respective countries. Members of the group took part in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

The Occidental Dissent/Brad Griffin @occdissent

Brad Griffin, who also uses the pseudonym Hunter Wallace, is the Alabama-based white supremacist behind the Occidental Dissent blog, which celebrates racist Southern nationalism and the alt right.

American Renaissance/Jared Taylor @amrenaissance and @jartaylor

Jared Taylor, a white supremacist of longstanding, is the founder of The New Century Foundation, a white supremacist think tank known primarily for its racist online journal, American Renaissance. Taylor is a significant “intellectual” influence on the alt right segment of the white supremacist movement.

Britain First @britainfirsthq

- Paul Golding (Britain First) @goldingbf

- Jayda Fransen (Britain First) @JaydaBF

Britain First (BF) is a far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant group founded in 2011 by former members of the British National Party (BNP), a far-right political party with ties to neo-Nazis.

League of the South/Michael Hill @michaelhill51 and @dixienetdotorg

The League of the South (LoS) is a longstanding neo-Confederate white supremacist group that advocates turning the American south into a separate nation for whites. Under the leadership of its founder, Michael Hill, it has become far more radical and explicitly white supremacist over the past decade.

National Socialist Movement/Jeff Schoep @nsm88

The National Socialist Movement (NSM), based in Detroit, Michigan, is the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States, with around 300 active members. It is headed by Jeff Schoep and promotes its virulently anti-Semitic and racist ideology at rallies across the United States.

New Black Panther Party/Hashim Nzinga @NewBlackPanthr1 and @hashimnzinga

The New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (NBPP) is a virulently racist and anti-Semitic black nationalist group headed by Hashim Nzinga. It is unrelated to the original Black Panther Party of the 1960s-70s.

Traditionalist Workers Party @tradworker and @tradyouth

Traditionalist Worker Party is a neo-Nazi group led by Matthew Heimbach and Matthew Parrott. It tries to promote its white supremacist agenda to “working class” whites.

Vanguard America @vanamofficial

Vanguard America (VA) is a recently formed neo-Nazi group that intersects with the alt right. Using a right-wing nationalist slogan, Blood and Soil, VA romanticizes the notion that people with “white blood” have a special bond with “American soil.” It has already suffered a significant factional split, with disgruntled members leaving to form the rival Patriot Front.