Even on Elon Musk’s Twitter, there are red lines for permissible content, and Kanye West, who now calls himself Ye, crossed one of them with a late Thursday night post that prompted the network to suspend his account.
The artist tweeted an image combining the Star of David with a swastika, which got removed by the social media service. In its place was a message saying the post violated Twitter Inc.’s rules and a link to its policy page explaining enforcement actions. Since then, the entire account has been suspended, with all of its tweets now obscured. Ye had 32.2 million followers before the suspension.
Musk addressed the issue after the post’s initial removal, saying Ye had — not for the first time — breached Twitter’s rule against incitement to violence and his account would be suspended. It’s the most high-profile test yet of Musk’s avowed policy of making Twitter a home for free speech, even where it offends, so long as it’s not in breach of the law.
Two weeks earlier, the social network’s new owner welcomed Ye back from his Twitter exodus, at the same time as he restored former US president Donald Trump’s access. Ye had left Twitter after the service took action on his posts that it deemed antisemitic.
The cordial relations between the two men did not seem to last long, however, as Ye’s most recent tweet, which he labeled his last, featured an unflattering image of a shirtless Musk on vacation. Musk responded to that post with the words “That is fine.” He also replied to the tweet containing the removed image with “This is not.”