Poor Milo. The Breitbart crank, hero to the worst elements of the internet, was very bitter about the fact that Twitter removed the blue verification checkmark from his profile, about as petty a slight as can be imagined. I have no idea how he’ll react to the latest news: Twitter has finally, permanently banned Milo Yiannopoulos from the service.
Yiannopoulos, who currently serves as Breitbart.com’s tech editor, has been hailed as a standout voice of the new “alt-right” movement. As such, he has made a living as a provocateur, continually inflaming tensions between progressive branches of the internet focused on identity politics and the fervently anti-PC segment that constantly trolls it. For years, Yiannopoulous has used Twitter not only to voice his controversial opinions but to direct his legion of followers (388,042 at the time of this writing) toward his opponents. As a result, he’s been temporarily banned from Twitter a number of times for violating terms of service and stripped of his verification.
It’s about time that he was permanently kicked off for his incessant abuse. What did it at last? Milo was one of the people who led the racist, sexist online assault against Leslie Jones, whose sole crime was being one of the stars of the new Ghostbusters movie. The social injustice warriors were already irate that somehow, a remake of an old movie with women cast in major roles was an unforgivable slight against their masculinity, so they tried to pump themselves up by sending a tsunami of vile, filthy, bigoted imagery against a black woman.
It’s nice that something finally drove Twitter to do something about it — their responses to online harassment have been infuriatingly forgiving to some incredibly nasty stuff — but it’s a shame that it takes something as savage as the attacks on Jones to get them to finally do what needed to be done about one person.