The Twitter Account of Kanye West Has Been Reinstated by X, the Social Media Platform Owned by Musk
Kanye West, better known by his initials KW, has returned to Twitter‘s X platform despite not being eligible to monetize it, and advertisements won’t appear alongside his posts.
Ye made headlines last month for praising Adolf Hitler during an interview with rightwing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars. As a result of these controversial remarks, Adidas withdrew its sponsorship agreement for its apparel line, Yeezy.
X reinstates Ye’s account.
Kanye West, known by his nickname of Ye and with over 31 million followers on Twitter, had his account temporarily suspended by Elon Musk-owned social media platform Space X in December after tweeting an image showing an Islamic symbol within a Star of David that, according to Twitter rules, violated their policies against inciting violence. Space X unbanned it on Saturday and reinstated it for use.
Ye expressed his thanks for X’s decision in a tweet sent on Saturday and promised that something special was in the pipeline, yet failed to provide further details.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Twitter gave Ye assurances that his posts wouldn’t contain antisemitic or otherwise offensive language; this factored heavily into their decision to lift Ye’s suspension in October 2022 following antisemitic tweets that led significant brands such as Adidas and Balenciaga to cut ties with him.
Though X-Ye’s account is back online, it will not be monetized or have advertisements placed alongside posts on the app, according to a company statement. Reactivation follows warnings by European Union regulators for tech platforms like Twitter that must do more to eliminate hate speech and disinformation or face heavy fines in Europe.
As for Twitter, it remains uncertain how it will respond to other contentious users. According to its CEO Jack Dorsey, who has insisted that his platform should serve as a democracy allowing people to freely express themselves without being censored, but has admitted it does receive criticism and pledged to enhance its content moderation tools in response to it.
Sources at Facebook indicated that their decision to reactivate Ye’s account fits within its philosophy when handling charges that violate its rules, including lax oversight for content that prompted Ye to be suspended in October and their failure to take further steps when Ye met with white nationalist leaders who denied Holocaust.
Silicon Valley giant Facebook is currently in the process of purchasing Parler, a right-wing social media site that promises less moderation than Twitter but is not yet available in the US. The acquisition forms part of its larger plan to develop a platform catering specifically to conservative and libertarian audiences. Parler boasts over 40,000 daily users with an interface resembling that of Twitter; yet, how many will migrate or whether or not X will eventually compete against Twitter remains unknown. NPR’s Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.
X suspends Ye’s account.
After eight months, Kanye West — or Ye, as his 31 million fans know him — has had his Twitter account reinstated by Twitter, formerly known as Twitter. He was suspended back in December for posting an antisemitic image featuring both Star of David and swastika designs that breached their rules against incitement to violence. When Elon Musk took control of X (formerly Twitter) and announced this decision, he stated the site “decided to reinstate @Ye after reviewing this matter.”
He hasn’t tweeted from his new account since January; this may be for a good reason; an antisemitic post could get him suspended again, even if it were apologized for later. Additionally, according to an announcement from Twitter ad sales, any antisemitic content won’t be monetized via ads and, therefore, can no longer monetized via advertisements.
Ye’s antisemitic comments have cost him major business deals in recent weeks; Adidas and Balenciaga parted ways with him, while many people called for boycotting his Yeezy-branded sneakers. Ye warned his followers via tweet that if his language continued, both Twitter and Instagram may ban him again.
Following the controversy, celebrities have joined together in calling for a boycott of Yeezy products, yet their efforts may or may not help protect it over time; on Friday alone, its stock had fallen by about one-third.
TechCrunch reported in November that Parler’s company had been losing money and desperately looking for buyers, only for that deal to fall apart when its CEO was suspended for alleged misconduct and an investigation conducted, though no report ever became public.
No indication is given as to whether that report contributed directly or indirectly to the collapse of the deal, but the company now appears in jeopardy as several employees, including one responsible for marketing and product development, have left in recent weeks. Who will replace them is still unknown, although it appears a significant investor has likely left following the collapse of this deal. Reports indicate that the company was seeking an investor that could infuse $50 million into its finances, enabling it to keep operating for at least some more time. While they wait, employees who remain have been instructed to improve the user experience of its website. That could include adding features that are popular with users, like uploading video content. The company is also looking to revamp its advertising offerings, such as creating a paid account that will allow brands to reach more users; its cost has yet to be revealed but likely exceeds that of the current free plan.