Twitter CEO Elon Musk didn’t mince words when asked about his personal reaction to Kanye West’s latest anti-Semitic post on the social media site.
West was suspended from Twitter for violating the company’s policy against “incitement of violence” last week. The suspension came after West posted an alarming photo of a swastika inside a Star of David as part of an unhinged series of tweets.
“I personally wanted to punch Kanye, so that was definitely inciting me to violence. That’s not cool,” Musk said during a question-and-answer session on “Twitter Spaces” on Saturday.
Musk commented on West’s suspension in response to a question from a participant who asked how Twitter would balance “freedom of expression” on the platform against content moderation practices. Under the billionaire’s leadership, Twitter has notably lifted suspensions on thousands of accounts – including that of former President Donald Trump.
Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech “absolutist,” also elaborated on the reason he decided to suspend Ye’s account.
“That was my decision, because at a certain point, you have to say, what is incitement to violence? Because that is against the law in the US. You can’t just form a ‘let’s go murder someone’ club,” Musk said.
“I think posting swastikas in what is obviously not a good way is incitement to violence,” he added.
The Twitter CEO said indicated context was another key factor in determining whether a post violated the company’s policies. While West’s tweet was determined to be an incitement of violence, Musk asserted that a post about the history of World War II that included photos of Nazi imagery would likely not violate guidelines.
West posted the offensive image just hours after making a bizarre appearance on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones “InfoWars” program.
Clad in a hood that covered his entire face, West repeatedly expressed his adoration for Nazis and Adolf Hitler while appearing alongside white supremacist Nick Fuentes.
West has been suspended by Twitter twice in the last few months alone for espousing anti-Semitic views.
In October – prior to Musk’s takeover the company – West was suspended after tweeting that he was going “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.” Musk reinstated the account — only to later implement the suspension.
The outbursts have cost West his status as a billionaire as well as lucrative deals with Adidas and Gap.
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