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Musk suspends Kanye West's Twitter after Hitler comments

December 2, 2022

Rapper Kanye West posted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David as he doubled down on antisemitic comments. Musk had earlier reinstated West's account in a bid to strengthen "free speech."

Rapper Kanye West wears a Make America Great again hat during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Oct. 11, 2018.
The controversial rapper has returned with further antisemitic comments praising Hitler and NazisImage: Evan Vucci/AP Photo/picture alliance

Twitter CEO and owner Elon Musk suspended Kanye West's account on Friday after the controversial US musician doubled down on antisemitic comments.

Musk in a tweet said, ''I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.''

The South African-born billionaire, who is also the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, purchased Twitter earlier this year and pledged to strengthen "free speech" on the platform. He reinstated a number of banned profile's, including West's. Musk also previously described himself as a "free-speech absolutist."

Why was Kanye West's account suspended?

West, who currently goes by the name Ye, gave an interview to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on the far-right blog "Infowars," with his face completely covered with a balaclava and in which he made antisemitic comments.

He also tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David before Twitter suspended his account on Friday.

His account's suspension was confirmed by Twitter CEO, Elon Musk as he replied to an unflattering picture of himself that was posted by Ye.

Jones questioned the rapper's support for Hitler and Nazism, to which West gave a long-winded answer about what he called the Nazi leader's "good" qualities and concluded with "I like Hitler."

"Every human being has value to bring to the table, especially Hitler," the Spanish EFE news agency quoted West as saying.

The rapper also at another point in the interview denied that Hitler's Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews, describing it as "factually incorrect." In Germany, such statements denying the Holocaust are illegal. 

West's continued antisemitism

West's latest statements come on the heels of similarly antisemitic comments which have cost him some of his most lucrative deals with large companies, such as Balenciaga, the Gap and Adidas.

The remarks triggered widespread outrage and resulted in his accounts on Twitter and Instagram being restricted.

The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly condemned West's latest statements as "a horrific cesspool of dangerous, bigoted Jew hatred."

Kanye West at Milk Studios on June 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.
West's latest statements come on the heels of similarly anti-semitic comments which have cost him deals with big names such as AdidasImage: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ADIDAS

"Given his praise of Hitler, it can't be overstated that Kanye West is a vile, repellent bigot who has targeted the Jewish community with threats and Nazi-style defamation," the coalition said in a Thursday statement on its website.

It called on conservatives who had previously embraced West to treat him as a "pariah."

A controversial past

The Thursday interview comes a week after West had dinner with former US President Donald Trump and white supremacist Nick Fuentes at the latter's Florida estate. The gathering provoked outrage.

The artist has courted controversy and promoted conspiracy theories, having previously called slavery a choice and said that the COVID-19 vaccine was "the mark of the beast."

The rapper-turned-mogul has been open about having a bipolar disorder. A recent Netflix documentary, "Jeen-Yuhs," laid bare his ongoing mental health problems.

rmt/sms (AFP, EFE)