ATLANTA — The Southern Poverty Law Center Interim Research Director Keegan Hankes released the following statement after Twitter took the long overdue step to permanently suspend David Duke, one of the most recognizable figures of the American far-right, for violating its hateful conduct policy. This suspension comes just weeks after Twitter defended its decision to continue to allow David Duke to have a platform.
“Twitter has allowed white supremacist David Duke to use his platform to spread hate for far too long. The SPLC and its partners in Change the Terms have been pressuring Twitter to take its white supremacist problem seriously for years.
“While this is a step in the right direction, Twitter, and other social media companies and message boards, still have a lot of work to do to clean up their platforms and stop the spread of hateful ideologies and propaganda. David Duke is just a start, but there are still many others. We have seen how social media is a powerful tool used to accelerate the spread of hate and how most tech companies do very little to limit the spread until it's too late.
“We strongly believe that Twitter, and all social media platforms, must enforce their own terms of service and adopt the corporate model policies recommended by Change the Terms. We will continue to closely monitor Twitter to make sure that Duke does not return in another form, as we have seen happen in the past.”