SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Twitter has permanently suspended the account of Milo Yiannopolis, tech editor for conservative news website Breitbart, after he launched a campaign to harass “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.
The social media company suspended notorious internet troll’s account @Nero on Tuesday for leading the online attack on Jones.READ MORE: Intel to Build $20 Billion Fabrication Facility in Midwest to Ease Chip Shortage
Actress and comedian Jones was the target of a massive number of abusive and hateful messages on Twitter. While the female reboot of the “Ghostbusters” franchise has been the target of internet trolling ever since the cast of the film was announced, the campaign against Jones was judged to be virulent enough to yank the tech editor’s account permanently.
Yiannopolis, a well-known, right-leaning gay commentator with over 338,000 followers on Twitter, had been relentless in his attacks on the actress over the past few days.
The remarks aimed at Jones were very graphic and filled with racist and sexist insults, leading her to close her own Twitter account and call on the social media company to take action.
Conservatives have jumped on the Twitter account suspension as a case of the liberal media squashing free speech.
“If anyone thinks they have freedom of speech on social networks, they are ridiculous. Social networks are private,” said Brandon Mercer, the editor for the San Francisco Chronicle’s sibling website SFGate.com.READ MORE: Attorney General's Office: Man Shot Dead by Police at SFO Armed With Replica Gun
He said he regularly takes down comments that he deems inappropriate.
Twitter officials wouldn’t go on camera to address the suspension, but sent an email that noted the service’s “…rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”
“All the companies have terms of service. No one ever reads them because they are ridiculously long and boring,” explained Mercer. “But when you go to Facebook, when you go to Twitter, you agree to terms of service to use it.”
But some are criticizing Twitter’s policy as random and arbitrary. While the social media site suspended Yiannopolis, the account of the man arrested Monday for making racist threats against San Francisco’s acting Police Chief Toney Chaplin is still online.
While Jones already shut down her own account, there has been a groundswell of support from celebrities and non-celebrities.MORE NEWS: San Francisco 49ers Confirm DE Bosa Cleared to Play Against Packers
The hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ flooded the Twittersphere Wednesday, with many offering words of love and praise for the actress.