After inciting the relentless harassment of Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones, conservative blogger Milo Yiannopoulos has been permanently banned from Twitter.
The pro-Gamergate journalist frequently sics his hundreds of thousands of followers on different targets, and has been temporarily suspended from the platform multiple times and "unverified" for violating its terms of service.
Most recently, he targeted Jones for her involvement in the new Ghostbusters film, which has received a disproportionate amount backlash from critics who are outraged that fictional female characters are hunting fictional ghosts. The racist and sexist attacks ultimately led Jones to leave the platform after posting a string of tweets that addressed the ongoing racism and sexism she faces as a black woman in Hollywood as well as her outrage that Twitter was doing nothing to stop her abuse.
“People should be able to express diverse opinions and beliefs on Twitter,” a spokesperson for the social network said of Yiannopolis' removal in a statement to the New York Times. “But no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online, and our rules prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others.”
Dan Aykroyd, who acted in the original film and helped produce the latest version, spoke out against the abuse Tuesday, calling the harassers racist and "insignificant."
"These people, first of all, they're insignificant gnats," he told Entertainment Tonight Canada. "They have no lives of their own, they can barely pay for the Wi-Fi they're using, probably no jobs. I would say you're looking at obese white men between 50 and 60, who are active Klan members or members of the Aryan Nation, and there are millions of them."
According to Business Insider, Yiannopolis reportedly received the following email from Twitter alerting him of his removal.
In a story posted to Breitbart on Tuesday, Yiannopoulos reacted to the suspension.
"With the cowardly suspension of my account, Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives," he said in a statement. "Twitter is holding me responsible for the actions of fans and trolls using the special pretzel logic of the left. Where are the Twitter police when Justin Bieber’s fans cut themselves on his behalf?”
"Like all acts of the totalitarian regressive left, this will blow up in their faces, netting me more adoring fans. We’re winning the culture war, and Twitter just shot themselves in the foot. This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter."
He gave a longer statement to Fusion, saying he did "nothing wrong."
"Of course I didn't break Twitter's terms of service, they have a whole team of cybersleuths on the Milo beat, so what would be the point?" he said. "Besides, I don't need to break the terms of service to point out the mendacious hypocrisy on the left of social media. I suppose I did break Twitter's unwritten rules by tweeting truths they'd prefer to leave unsaid. Twitter's permanent supension of my account makes a mockery of their claims to be a free speech platform."
Twitter has grappled with ongoing harassment issues, and many targets of abuse say it is not doing enough to address the problem, something even its CEO has admitted. Activists have continued to call for better filters and mass blocking options while others have alleged Twitter is purposely refusing to crack down on abuse because it inflates their metrics. Yiannopolis joins other trolls like Azealia Banks, who was permanently banned for homophobic and racist tweets, and Chuck Johnson who was removed for threatening to "take out" a Black Lives Matter protester.