For years, extremism experts have wondered why Nick Fuentes, a white-nationalist media figure, has been able to maintain a verified Twitter account. Even through denying the Holocaust, attending the 2017 violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, and frequently espousing overt racism, he kept his privileged access to the platform.
That didn’t change when, the day before the January 6 insurrection, he floated the idea of killing state legislators who voted to certify election results. In fact, on January 5, when asked about those comments, the company admitted they didn’t see a reason to act, telling the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Hannah Gais and Michael Edison Hayden that at “this point, our enforcement team has not seen enough violative content from @NickJFuentes on Twitter to ban him.” That apparently remained the case for six months after he attended the next day’s riots and egged on right-wing protestors—including his followers—as they stormed the building.
But on Friday, long after a bevy of other platforms—among them YouTube, PayPal, and TikTok—had booted him, Twitter finally stripped his access for unclear reasons. Company spokesperson Trenton Kennedy declined to specify why they did so, telling Mother Jones only that he’d been “permanently suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter Rules.” He declined to share more information.
Just before his Twitter ban, Fuentes spent Friday morning tweeting about his plans to crash a Conservative Political Action Conference event this weekend in Texas, boasting to his followers that “most likely, I’ll be getting physically removed from CPAC in Dallas on Saturday.” While some conservative voices and organizations like CPAC have distanced themselves from Fuentes over his history of pro-white power and racist statements, he’s been embraced by other prominent figures on the right, including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar.