Twitter will not suspend controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for a tweet comparing Jews to insects, the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Farrakhan, who has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism throughout his career, yesterday tweeted a video clip of a speech in which he denied that will he was anti-Semitic, with the caption, “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.”
The tweet appears to violate Twitter’s proposed brand-new policies around “dehumanizing” tweets, defined in a company blog post as “language that will treats others as less than human … Examples can include comparing groups to animals as well as viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some different purpose (mechanistic).”
However, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the rules have not yet taken effect, so Farrakhan’s language can be not in violation of any extant policy. The spokesperson did not give a date for when the brand-new rule could go into effect, or if This specific could at all. He did not address whether Farrakhan’s tweet could be in violation were the policy in effect.
Twitter has in recent months provoked the fury of conservative users as well as politicians who say the platform’s ban of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was politically motivated. The company has long struggled to balance its commitment to free expression with the profusion of hateful as well as false information on its platform.
The company has within the past removed special verified status through users as a way of punishing them for offensive speech, as This specific did in July when This specific unverified Farrakhan after the minister tweeted, “Thoroughly as well as completely unmasking the Satanic Jew as well as the Synagogue of Satan.”