Twitter has reinstated the account of Kanye “Ye” West, restoring the rapper’s voice on social media. The news came on Sunday, shortly after long-banned former US President Donald Trump had been brought back to the platform as well.
“Testing, testing,” West tweeted. “Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked.” The post apparently was viewable by other Twitter users, attracting over 600,000 likes in five hours and an avalanche of replies.
West’s Twitter account had been restricted since October 9, blocking him from posting new messages, after he said he was going to go “death con 3 on Jewish people. The funny thing is, I actually can’t be anti-Semitic because black people are actually Jew also. You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
West has nearly 32 million followers on Twitter. The rapper and fashion entrepreneur has been closely watched as a bellwether of how dramatically billionaire Elon Musk will transform the platform after acquiring the company for $44 billion last month. Musk has vowed to make Twitter a bastion of free speech, saying it was “important to the future of civilization” to have a digital town square where a wide range of beliefs could be discussed.
Testing Testing Seeing if my Twitter is unblocked
— ye (@kanyewest) November 20, 2022
Musk brought back Trump’s account on the website on Saturday, 22 months after the then-president was banished from social media platforms following the US Capitol riot. The Tesla CEO had conducted a Twitter poll on whether Trump should be allowed to return. The survey attracted more than 15 million votes, 51.8% of which favored reinstatement. However, Trump said he doesn’t “see any reason” to resume using Twitter as he has built a strong following on his own platform, Truth Social.
West’s return to the platform occurred on the same day that NBA star Kyrie Irving was allowed to come back to the court following a suspension for posting a link to a documentary containing anti-Semitic material. He initially declined to apologize or to proclaim to reporters that he held no anti-Semitic beliefs.
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