If he wept endlessly over a checkmark, what is Milo Yiannopoulos going to do now?

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.


  1. Vivec says

    Inb4 certain posters here call this an iffy violation of free speech, probably with that quote that gets attributed to everyone ever about foghting to the death to defend his roght.

  2. karpad says

    my favorite part of this is basically inexplicable. Long story short, a pro wrestling feud in a minor circuit has a crazy man’s gimmick be his endless ranting about #DELETION #BROKEN (his words) of his hated brother, Nero.
    The wrestler has since claimed credit for this, noting he deletes ALL Brother Neros. (Milo’s twitter was @Nero.)

    from this, doesn’t sound so funny. Actually watching wrestling in general? also not so great. But the way the backstory combines in prior knowledge into this event makes it truly hysterical.

    It’s hard to describe. I guess imagine if the official Cheetos twitter posted “It ain’t easy being cheesy #flaminghot” in response to a news article about trumps toupee catching fire.

  3. says

    Twitter is lax on enforcement likely to allow and open forum. They’re just words, no one’s being forced to read them. But lol when anyone bitches about “free speech” when they finally get banned, if u don’t like it start your own internet communication format

  4. lotharloo says

    Good. I also don’t get the new ghostbusters hate wagon. If you don’t like it, don’t fucking watch it!

  5. Jake Harban says

    Whatever happened to: “I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to steal my megaphone in order to force other people to listen to you say it against their will?”

    That’s how the saying goes, right?

  6. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    What does that blue tick even mean?
    While I don’t frequent Twitter, I’m glad his constant assholery has some consequences for himself finally, including supposedly permanent ones.
    As for Ghostbusters, I’m not that interested in the movie, as the trailers made the humour out to be pretty lame/reliant on awkward pauses, but I never really understood the hatred. Considering how hated it was from the moment it was announced, long before the trailers, I’d agree that it’s probably about them evul womminz being in the lead roles that did it for the alty-righties.

  7. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Addendum: I know the blue tick means “verification”, but what does it mean when an account is “verified”? Verified for what? Certainly not veracity of content. And does it grant any special privileges (other than displaying the vaunted blue tick)?

  8. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Uh-huh, public interest. Well, considering he makes his money on public outrage, I guess I can see why he would be miffed about losing that. Luckily, now he won’t have to worry about it anymore, I suppose.

  9. w00dview says

    From the Buzzfeed article:

    With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.

    Gee, Milo you are so oversensitive! You really need to get thicker skin. But I guess when you are a professional victim, you don’t need to accept personal responsibility for your actions.

    But seriously, it is great news that odious arsehole is finally facing some consequences for the shit he has pulled.

  10. komarov says

    I may be wrong – my knowledge of twitter policy is limited to the awful stuff I read here and on we hunted the mammoth – but … so what? As I understand it, standard procedure is now for this idiot to create a new account in violation of twitter’s terms of service, and for twitter to ignore it. He might even get a boost out of the hurt ‘they tried to silence me’-rhetoric among his fan-base. And then it’s business as usual. Unless and until it gets too much again and twitter takes another lazy swipe at this guy, some five to ten years hence.

    That’s what generally seems to happen to all the horrid people Futrelle writes about. They get banned and are back on twitter in less time than it took me to type this sentence.

  11. John Morales says

    komarov, that’s the thing — as per my #11, no such new account will be verified by Twitter as being him.

    (He’s shot his wad)

  12. Moggie says

    “With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.”

    Every time some suspended alt-right jerk makes a comment like this (ignoring the many conservatives successfully continuing to use twitter), they promote the equation “conservative = hate-filled abusive douche”. So, keep doing that, I guess?

  13. Saad says

    Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.”

    I’m almost okay with that.

  14. Electric Shaman says

    So jerkface (Milo) has 388,042 followers. I don’t use Twitter, so does anyone know if Ms Jones uses Twitter and how many followers she has? Is it too cynical of me to suggest that she would have many, many more followers and as a result if she were to put pressure on Twitter to act in this instance they would acquiesce due to a fear it might marginally affect Twitter’s bottom line? And has little to do with the fact that jerkface uses Twitter to spew all sorts of abusive nonsense?

  15. cartomancer says

    Which of the various Milones Yiannopouloi is this again? I thought they were some kind of gestalt colonial entity…

  16. Bob Foster says

    Now if there was only a way to send this Milo guy a hunk of Blue Kryptonite. It supposedly kills Bizarros like Milo.

  17. Infophile says

    I just heard on the news that Twitter plans to make the blue checkmark available to all users… and now that Milo is banned, he still won’t get one. It’s like they’re taunting him. Shadenfreude has never been so freude.

  18. says


    You jest here, but it’s been really obvious for awhile that all the alt-right anti-SJW stuff is just one big “It’s Always Projection”. Like, no, it’s not lacking a thick skin to be concerned about literal nazis screaming constant abuse in your face, but it is thin-skinned and easily riled to decide that criticizing a conservative person or making a game about depression or being in a movie is somehow justification for an endless hate mob.

    Same with the cries of “censorship” that the group of Social Hegemony Warriors like to make, where their whole thing is literally just trying to shut up and make punitive trying to create anything or say anything that’s outside the fantasy world the harassers want to live in.

    Hell, even the trigger thing, like it’s fucked up and stupid to even treat having mental health problems caused by abuse like a personal failing, but in the weird definition they’ve attributed to it (being set off by a statement and then demanding that statement never happen again and using that clarion call to demand political enemies be silenced), again, they are the only ones actually doing that, using the fear of terrorism to keep people feeling safe stating their opinions if they are not right-wing Christian men.

    Even their weird obsession with “autistic” as a slur meaning obsessive is projection, with them being so fixated on stalking and harassing their various targets that it’s become their whole life.

    And let’s not even get started on how many of them are fond of accusing literally everyone they meet of being child molesters when a lot of the hate groups organize on forums with massive child porn problems.

    It’s honestly at the point where if a right-wing “troll” is ranting about something, he should just be assumed to be talking about his own actions first of all.

  19. says

    Has anyone the slightest idea what karpad@4 is talking about?

    From what I’ve been able to glean from a brief googling: Matt Hardy is a professional wrestler. So is his brother, Jeff. At times they’ve wrestled as a team, but there are also periods during which they fall out and battle each other. Currently, Matt seeks to defeat, or “delete,” Jeff, who he (or the character he plays) calls “Brother Nero.”

    Coincidentally, Twitter deleted the account of Yiannopoulos, whose Twitter handle is Nero. Several hours ago, Hardy tweeted a link to the news about Yiannopoulos’ banning, saying: “I DELETE ALL #BrotherNeros.. Do not challenge my #BROKEN brilliance. #TheFinalDeletion.” I can see the humor for those who follow (that corner of) professional wrestling.

  20. Usernames! (╯°□°)╯︵ ʎuʎbosıɯ says

    “Anyone who believes in free speech FREEZE PEACH was sent a very powerful message today, which is that you’re not welcome on Twitter.”
    — Milo

    FTFY, you ignorant douchesnozzle.

    And no, Twitter doesn’t [shouldn’t] believe in Freeze Peach.

  21. says

    According to Wikipedia, “The Final Deletion” in which “Broken Matt” defeated “Brother Nero” Jeff just happened on July 5. So now he’s claiming credit for having defeated yet another Nero.

    And that’s all the time I have to devote to pro wrestling today. :)

  22. raven says

    I barely know who MIlo Y. is.
    Apparently he is famous for being a jerk and internet troll. Hardly any basis of significance.

    But what is to stop him from creating another nym? Or a few thosand nyms? We’ve all seen banned trolls come back from with a new nym, sometimes in a few minutes.

    Inquiring minds don’t really care much though. Seen one troll, seen them all.

  23. says

    It seems a bit of a self-limiting strategy, getting banned and re-registering an account. For low-level trolls, they can probably count on getting word out to their half-dozen followers each time, so there’s no overall effect. If they’ve got an account with several hundred thousand followers, many on the name recognition factor alone, they’re going to have to lose a bunch each time they respawn.

    Plus, there’s the question of just how blatant they can be about it; if Yiannopoulos announces on his blog tomorrow what his new Twitter handle is, it’s going to be difficult for Twitter to pretend it didn’t know about it. They may be spectacularly bad at pretending to care about the Twitter community, but can they afford to just ignore stuff like that?

  24. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I see all the Twatters complaining about double standards, how Twitter banned a conservative but let all the hate speech flow from liberturds [sic] about conservatives. Not realizing the actual facts. [a trope among freeze peachers].
    Twitter banned Milo for racist rants directed at Leslie Jones, for being a popular POC comedian in a film misogynist hate for retconning Ghostbusters as wimminz. Milo got banned for advocating and encouraging racists to Tweet insults to Leslie through Twitter servers.
    It’s okay if Twitter allows BLM or Muslims to Tweet opinions for everyone to read or avoid. Twitter banned Milo for harassment, not his opinions.
    freeze peachers need to learn the difference, between speech and verbal harassment.

  25. carlie says

    I thought this essay about it has a good analogy. Too long to excerpt here, but here’s a bit of the setup:

    “Say policing is a bit lax in this marketplace, because those who run it would rather have the great crowd of people not presently being inconvenienced by violence and theft feel like it’s a safe, chill place, and because truth be told they make a lot of money from the rip-off artists. There are also some logistical difficulties inherent in keeping the peace in a place so big and boisterous and crowded, but they’re definitely not doing all they could do.

    Into this marketplace comes a young man who, seeing a merchant he doesn’t think should be there, he goes over and upsets her stall. And this is not some rinky-dink peddler, but the stall of a great merchant house. He just knocks it over, and keeps knocking it over, and keeps knocking it over.”

  26. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 30:
    PZ often has to ban trolls from this site, not by nym but by IP address, because of, what you asked about, continually producing new nyms to get around a nym that has been banned. I assume Twitter could also do so.

  27. qwints says

    @32 – it is disappointing and unsurprising that it took a Famous Person (TM) getting harassed for Twitter to do anything about harassment. Twitter is designed in such a way that’s incredibly easy to do these sorts of harassment campaigns.

  28. komarov says

    They may be spectacularly bad at pretending to care about the Twitter community, but can they afford to just ignore stuff like that?

    Given how long it usually takes Twitter to react to this sort of thing and how ineffectively they do it, I’d go with ‘yes.’

    Besides, he apparently kept roughly 400,000 users on twitter amused. From a corporate perspective that would probably be considered a good thing. Bread and circuses. Sometimes someone might get eaten by the lions but the crowd loves it, so it’s fine.

  29. says

    If you want to know what actual victim culture looks like, look at how he and hie friends are crying now.

    I bet 50 bucks that they all never got over being put in detention for verbally harassing the fat/black/jewish/female/gay kid.

  30. Ruby says

    @9 or anyone else wondering:

    The deal with the checkmark is this. There is literally nothing that stops me from going over to Twitter and creating an account called “@iampzmyers” and pretending to be PZ. I could then post any number of things to that account which people could then mistakenly attribute to PZ. Obviously, this is viewed as a problem.

    To cut down on it, sufficiently prominent users can contact Twitter about becoming “Verified”, meaning that Twitter, somehow, confirms that, for example, the “@pzmyers” account is being used by the actual, real person PZ Myers. Meaning that, since any other “PZ Myers” account would lack the checkmark, people could tell what content was coming from PZ and what was not. For example:

    @iampzmyers: *offensive thing*

    @pzmyers [checkmark]: That’s not me and I don’t agree with any of it.

    And with that, there’s no question what’s happening there. So if you are prominent enough that reputation harming imitation accounts are a threat you may face, you definitely want to get verified.


    Now, for a time, Milo Yiannopoulos’ “@Nero” account was verified, but one day it “mysteriously” wasn’t. It later transpired that, although the account billed itself as the personal account of Milo Yiannopoulos, he was not the only one to post on it. DOZENS of interns posted content to the account, which was passed off as content being posted by Yiannopoulos himself. This is a violation of the rules governing verification, so he lost his status. And, of course, threw a temper tantrum.

  31. Vivec says

    Well, I’m proud that FTB has got to the point where we’re not accusing twitter of ~no-platforming~ Milo, I guess.

  32. Mike Palmer says

    Here’s an article by Laurie Penny about hanging out with Milo for an evening at RNCinCLE. This is just after his twitter suspension has been announced:

    Milo is excited. This is his night. How does he feel about his suspension?

    “It’s fantastic,” he says, “It’s the end of the platform. The timing is perfect.”

    He was planning for something like this. “I thought I had another six months, but this was always going to happen.”

    Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Leslie Jones, who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it. According to the law of the wild web, the spoils go to those with fewest fucks to give. I have come to believe, in the course of our bizarro unfriendship, that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete—not even in free speech. The same is reportedly true of Drumpf, of people like Ann Coulter, of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage: They are pure antagonists unencumbered by any conviction apart from their personal entitlement to raw power and stacks of cash.

    Worth reading.