After the Proud Boys were kicked off Twitter in 2018, they retreated to other discreet messaging platforms such as Telegram. However, the extremist group could make a Twitter comeback if Tesla founder Elon Musk follows through with purchasing the platform. Musk would have to drop $44 billion to own Twitter and he just might to let the Proud Boys talk their ish freely, per USA TODAY.
We thought the white supremacist tweets were over with but USA TODAY found 45 Twitter accounts last April that identified as Proud Boys supporters. Per the report, Twitter removed only 13 of those accounts. Last year, Twitter had to remove 44,974 accounts that were in violation of their “violent organizations policy.” Though, Musk was one of the people in support of undoing the suspension of Trump-supporters and racist rightists.
More from USA TODAY:
But when Elon Musk announced earlier this year he wanted to buy Twitter, the Proud Boys and other extremist groups expressed hope that he will allow them back on the platform. Musk, who has 100 million Twitter followers, says he supports more unbridled expression on Twitter. He also says the social media company has gone too far in policing the speech of users.
Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April but has expressed reservations about the deal, fueling speculation he may not complete the purchase.
Among other things, Musk wants to abolish permanent suspensions against users including former President Trump. Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has publicly agreed with Musk though both say Twitter should still prohibit illegal behavior and spam.
Musk said in a conference previously that perma bans like that on the Proud Boys affiliates “undermine trust” in Twitter which he called a “town square” where everyone can voice their opinions. He’s not wrong on the whole “free speech” front. However, when that speech incites acts of hate-driven violence, it’s fair to put the instigators in web-jail.
Though Twitter insists they work their hardest to sift out the trolls, some believe they aren’t doing enough.
“I don’t think that Twitter is a platform that is seriously interested in banning extremists and bad actors - If I were running Twitter, I would consider that a failure on my part, to create a platform that, even at a very base level, in the most basic ways, is a safe place to be,” said Bridget Todd, host of the podcast “There are No Girls on the Internet,” via USA TODAY.