How YouTube Encourages (And Monetizes) Rumble's Neo-Nazi Content

How YouTube Encourages (And Monetizes) Rumble's Neo-Nazi Content

YouTube is allowing right-wing and otherwise controversial streamers to use its platform to push audiences to their extreme content on Rumble, where they spread hateful rhetoric and misinformation and host extremists who are banned from YouTube.

Rumble is a video-streaming platform that has become an alternative to YouTube by allowing hateful and extreme content to thrive. The platform has recruited a cadre of content creators — many of whom are right-wing male pundits — to post at least some of their content exclusively on Rumble.

Streamers, including some of these “Rumble Exclusives” creators, often begin a stream on multiple platforms, including YouTube, before airing exclusive content on Rumble. Some tease that the subsequent Rumble-exclusive streams will include discussions of “forbidden” topics, seemingly trying to pique the curiosity of the larger YouTube audience and push them to Rumble, where they have fewer subscribers but there is less content moderation.

Media Matters has also found that some of these YouTube videos are monetized — meaning that the platform is profiting from them.

On YouTube, the misogynistic Fresh & Fit podcast urged its nearly 1.5 million subscribers to watch Rumble streams that included antisemitic and racist content: 

  • YouTube allowed the video to remain on its platform until July 10 even though Fuentes said during the stream that he does not “like race mixing” and that “women shouldn't be getting educated.” The show has 1.45 million subscribers on YouTube and over 200,000 followers on Rumble, and the YouTube video garnered nearly 200,000 views before it was removed.
  • Right before switching to streaming exclusively on Rumble on July 7, Gaines let the audience know that once there, they were “going to get into the Juliet Quebec, if you guys know what I'm talking about. Juliet Quebec coming up,” alluding to the “JQ” or “Jewish Question.” After transitioning over to the Rumble stream (whose title mentions that Fuentes “answers the JQ!”), one of the hosts immediately celebrated by shouting an anti-LGBTQ slur. They then set up Fuentes to fully launch into his antisemitic, white nationalist views. The Rumble stream, which went on for another hour and a half, has accumulated nearly 350,000 views on Rumble thus far.
  • During another stream on July 10, Fresh & Fit’s hosts and guests teased the upcoming Rumble portion of the stream, when Fuentes and far-right ally Sneako would appear. In the intro to the show, host Myron said that “Rumble is the savior here.” Sneako, who apparently introduced Gaines to Fuentes, has also been banned from YouTube. Fuentes and Sneako joined the show soon after the hosts ended the YouTube stream and continued exclusively on Rumble, and the full group immediately launched into debating the “JQ.”
  • At the beginning of Fresh & Fit’s July 12 stream on YouTube, hosts and initial guest Jon Zherka, a deeply misogynistic streamer, teased the subsequent Rumble portion of the stream and made comments about what YouTube would and would not allow. In both the video and the video title, Fuentes and Sneako are referred to as “the FORBIDDEN ones," who would be joining once the stream transitioned to exclusively Rumble. During the intro to the show, which was streamed on YouTube, Zherka seemingly shouted “Exodia,” referencing a Yu-Gi-Oh character known as a “forbidden” character, while simultaneously throwing his right arm into what appeared to be the Sieg Heil salute, a seeming nod to Sneako and Fuentes’ extreme and “forbidden” beliefs. YouTube profited from this stream, which was monetized.

Russell Brand and other “Rumble Exclusives” content creators regularly funnel their audience from YouTube to their more extreme content on Rumble

  • Russell Brand, who hosts a daily news commentary show for Rumble, with only portions of the stream airing on YouTube, regularly encourages his viewers to watch him on Rumble so they can hear him talk “without fear of censorship or strikes or any of that stuff.” He frequently uses this tactic to tease discussions of topics that he knows will be in violation of YouTube’s guidelines on COVID-19 misinformation; he has already received a strike from YouTube for violating those rules.
  • In one video on YouTube, Brand touted his Rumble-exclusive content as full of conspiracy theories. Describing his Rumble content, Brand told viewers that if they’re watching on YouTube or Twitter, “we’re going to have to leave you now, because we’re about to talk about something so controversial, and you are going to love it. I’m telling you, you're going to want to join us on Rumble. There's a link in the description. There are conspiracy theories, and then there's the mother of all conspiracy theories. There are territories that not even Alex Jones and David Icke dare not traverse for fear of the cluster bombs that accrue. We’re going to tell you stuff that is going to make your knickers go all unusual.” Brand’s show often features right-wing figures and conspiracy theories.
  • After being suspended from YouTube for letting notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones guest-host his show, Steven Crowder — another creator contracted with Rumbledeclared that he doesn’t “really want to be on YouTube” before saying Rumble is “the replatforming space.” On YouTube, Crowder's stream regularly flashes a graphic when his show is “not safe for YouTube” that encourages his audience to watch on Rumble.
  • After receiving a second content strike from YouTube, Crowder called for an “exodus” from YouTube to his Rumble channel, claiming he will be banned “if we do anything that, you know, is even remotely fun.” Crowder also teased that “it’s cultural appropriation month, which we would not dare risk doing on YouTube.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

U.S. Court

Far Right Lauds Affirmative Action Decision -- And Aims At Civil Rights Act

As the Supreme Court handed down its decision that the race-conscious admission policies of Harvard College and the University of North Carolina violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, effectively dismantling affirmative action in higher education, right-wing media poured praise on the conservative justices for ending what they claim is a “discriminatory” and “racist” practice.

On June 29, the Supreme Court’s decisions in both SFFA v. Presidentand Fellows of Harvard College and SFFA v. University of North Carolina essentially decided that race can no longer be a factor in college admissions, striking down affirmative action. Both cases involved Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit with financial ties to anti-civil rights strategists, suing Harvard University and the University of North Carolina over their admissions processes that the group claimed violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment, respectively. The elimination of affirmative action has been a right-wing policy goal for years and has been bankrolled through SFFA in order to see its elimination come to fruition.

Right-wing media continuously amplified their hatred of affirmative action leading up to its elimination, platforming guests who view the policy as “un-American.” Some right-wing figures that are celebrating the end of affirmative action have now begun calling for the end of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and “disparate impact” regulations, revealing their ultimate goal to destroy civil rights protections in the United States.

The Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle affirmative action coincides with a network of “parental choice” activists and right-wing media figures demanding radical changes to the U.S. education system. Anti-critical race theory proponents like Christopher Rufo and Russ Vought have worked hand-in-hand with right-wing media to mount aggressive smear campaigns against critical race theory and diversity policies. These groups have deliberately tried to gut the 14th Amendment, which would create massive obstacles to communities of color in education.

As part of their attacks on education, Fox News hosts have already started calling for the destruction of the public school system, arguing that the U.S. should “defund government education” and replace it with private school vouchers. The network has also spread misinformation about critical race theory, even claiming that proponents want to “brainwash your child so that they feel guilty about being born white.” Right-wing media attacks on the education system serve to minimize the impact that the Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action will have on diversity and equity in higher education.

Right-wing media agreed with Supreme Court that affirmative action is “unconstitutional,” labeling it a “racist” and “discriminatory” practice:

  • Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk praised the decision, tweeting, “Finally the Court has corrected another awful 70s mistake, and ruled that racially discriminatory college admissions are unconstitutional.”
  • Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich called affirmative action “unconstitutional and anti-American, for college admissions and everywhere else. This is an earthquake that should upend the left’s racist standards, not just in education but in employment at every level.”
  • On America’s Newsroom, former Trump official Roger Severino claimed that “45% of the students of African American descent admitted to Harvard would not have made it according to Harvard's own statistics had they not done the racial balancing in the name of diversity. Now, Harvard only has 8% of conservatives that are admitted students, 82% of Harvard students come from wealthy backgrounds. It’s not really about diversity. It was about racial balancing.”
  • The Daily Caller published an article, titled “Supreme Court Rules Against Racial Prejudice In College Admissions,” framing affirmative action as being discriminatory.
  • Newsmax’s Justine Brooke Murray tweeted that people “already knew” affirmative action was discriminatory prior to the Supreme Court decision, arguing that prospective students “should not be judged by the color of their skin but by content of their character!”
  • Racist livestreamer Steven Crowder claimed that because of the Supreme Court decision, “Asian students can no longer be discriminated against.”

Some right-wing figures praised former President Donald Trump for his Supreme Court picks who helped bring affirmative action to an end:

  • Former Trump adviser and white nationalist Stephen Miller called the decision a “colossal win for USA. Colossal achievement for 45 in shaping the Court to realize this victory.”
  • Failed congressional candidate and “proud IslamophobeLaura Loomer celebrated the decision as a “great day” that “was only made possible today thanks to President Donald J Trump’s nomination of 3 SCOTUS justices.”
  • Newsmax contributor Karoline Leavitt claimed that “President Donald Trump made today's historic decision to end the racist college admissions process possible because he delivered on his promise to appoint constitutionalist justices.”

Despite polling on affirmative action showing high rates of approval with marginalized groups, right-wing media argued that the Supreme Court’s decision was “popular” with all Americans:

  • Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted, “Race-based admissions will still continue bc these institutions will find sneaky ways of doing it, but they will no longer have the absurd cover of law. THESE POLICIES HAVE BEEN HURTING MINORITY GROUPS FOR DECADES. And ppl of all races oppose them. This is a great day for America.”
  • Fox News Radio host Guy Benson tweeted, “We are told SCOTUS is ‘losing legitimacy’ by issuing rulings that are ‘out of touch’ or unpopular. That misunderstands the justices’ function, of course, but many of the same people who’ve engaged in such concern trolling will be screaming over today’s decision.” Benson also posted an image of polling data, seemingly ignoring that the results showed that among American adults familiar with affirmative action, nearly every racial category mostly saw it as a “good thing.”

Fringe and right-wing accounts also celebrated the decision as a victory for white people and discussed what’s “next up”:

  • Following the decision, Rufo tweeted: “The Supreme Court has struck down affirmative action in college admissions. It's time to go further: abolish DEI bureaucracies, prohibit race-based hiring, eliminate the ‘disparate impact’ doctrine, and restore the principle of colorblind equality in all of our institutions.”
  • Gab founder and virulent antisemite Andrew Torba posted, “Affirmative action is dead. Roe is dead. Next up: the Civil Rights Act so we can restore the freedom of association in this country.”
  • White nationalist vlogger Steve Franssen tweeted “LETS GO WHITE RACE” in response to the decision.
  • On Gab, failed Senate candidate and Proud Boys supporter Lauren Witzke posted on Gab, “How many hopes and dreams have been destroyed for White people due to this vile policy? Affirmative Action is truly one of the biggest stains on America. Overqualified people were rejected from jobs and schools due to the color of their skin. It’s been unconstitutional from the start. It’s time to put an END to the cruel and evil practice of Affirmative Action.”
  • Far-right account Write Winger posted on Gab, “With race-based admissions being struck down at colleges, now is the time for White people to claim their space in this oh so diverse and inclusive environment, and I’ll tell you how you personally can help. If your school or employer has or does anything based on race, I want you to politely ask, in writing preferably via email, how you can go about creating the same for White people.”
  • Author Padraig Martin posted on Gab, “While Affirmative Action harmed hundreds of thousands of qualified White applicants over the past five decades, nobody gave a damn. How many aspiring White applicants from low income homes were denied economic advancement because they were White? I appreciate this decision, but just remember - if you are White, the United States government still hates you for being White and actively seeks your displacement and replacement with its myriad of anti-White policies.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Right-Wing Defenses Of Trump Are Incinerated By Prosecution Disclosures

Right-Wing Defenses Of Trump Are Incinerated By Prosecution Disclosures

The 47-page federal criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump unsealed on Friday incinerates months of desperate attempts by his media allies to excuse his behavior in handling classified material and the resulting probe of his actions.

Trump’s sycophants have claimed that Trump did not do anything wrong -- but the indictment says:

  • Trump kept the documents in unsecured locations at Mar-a-Lago, including a ballroom and bathroom.
  • Trump allegedly bragged that he had classified documents, acknowledging that he didn’t and could no longer declassify them while showing them to visitors.
  • Classified documents related to U.S. nuclear programs were found at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Trump’s actions were unique from other instances of people maintaining classified documents in that he willfully and knowingly mishandled the documents.
  • Trump himself packed boxes.
  • Trump admitted in an audio recording that he couldn’t declassify a document after he left office.

DEFENSE: The docs were secured

Right-wing media have claimed that the documents were secure at Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago. Fox News host Mark Levin said the documents were “safer at Mar-a-Lago” than “at the National Archives.” Conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec tweeted similar sentiments, saying, “Mar-a-Lago is protected inside and out by Secret Service federal agents at all times.”

INDICTMENT: Trump kept the documents in unsecured locations at Mar-a-Lago

As the indictment explains, Mar-a-Lago “was not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display, or discussion of classified documents. Nevertheless, Trump stored his boxes containing classified documents in various locations,” including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.” The indictment breaks down the locations, saying they include:

  • “The Mar-a-Lago Club’s White and Gold Ballroom, in which events and gatherings took place.”
  • “The business center at The Mar-a-Lago Club.”
  • “The shower where his other stuff is” in“The Mar-a-Lago Club’s Lake Room.”
  • The “Storage Room,” the hallway for which “could be reached from multiple outside entrances, including one accessible from The Mar-a-Lago Club pool patio through a doorway that was often kept open,” and which “was near the liquor supply closet, linen room, lock shop, and various other rooms.”
  • Trump’s “summer residence at The Bedminster Club,” which, like Mar-a-Lago, “was not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display, or discussion of classified documents.”
  • “Pine Hall,” which is “an entry room in Trump’s residence."
  • Trump’s office.

DEFENSE: The documents were declassified

After the FBI seized documents during its search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump and his allies in right-wing media repeatedly claimed that Trump had issued a “standing order” to declassify documents at “the moment he removed them” from the Oval Office, with some even saying he was “the classification authority” and could essentially “wave a magic wand” to declassify documents without a paper trail.

Simultaneously, Trump sycophant and serial misinformer John Solomon and former Trump Department of Defense official Kash Patel — both of whom were named Trump’s representatives to the National Archives — claimed to be “on a mission” to prove Trump had declassified the documents.

Right-wing media continued to push these claims in recent months.

INDICTMENT: Trump allegedly bragged that he had classified documents, acknowledging that he didn’t and could no longer declassify them while showing them to visitors

According to the indictment, “on two occasions in 2021, Trump showed classified documents to others,” including in one instance where Trump noted that the U.S. military “plan of attack” document he was sharing was “highly confidential” and “secret information,” adding, “See as president I could have declassified it. … Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”

DEFENSE: There were no serious classified materials

After news broke that the FBI was looking for material pertaining to nuclear weapons at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Fox host Sean Hannity, along with others in conservative media, downplayed the reporting, repeating Trump’s statement that “nuclear weapons, that issue is a hoax.”

And after it was reported that the FBI’s search proved to be fruitful, right-wing media still tried to leap to Trump’s defense.

On Fox News, host Laura Ingraham claimed, “And the issue of the nuclear capabilities of other countries, the CIA, I believe, has its own website that gives a lot of this information about — right?” Geraldo Rivera compared Trump's alleged crimes to “a library book that was overdue.”

INDICTMENT: Classified documents about U.S. nuclear programs were found at Mar-a-Lago

According to the indictment, included in the boxes of classified documents was information “regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries” and about “United States nuclear programs.” According to the Department of Justice: “The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods.”

DEFENSE: Everyone does it

Right-wing media have echoed Trump’s repeated claims that other presidents had also taken classified documents and suggested that Trump is being indicted only as a part of a “witch hunt” against him.

INDICTMENT: Trump’s actions were unique in that he willfully mishandled the documents

Trump’s claims about these specific former presidents have been debunked and while former Vice President Mike Pence and President Joe Biden found classified documents at their properties, they immediately returned them and have not faced any charges. The indictment shows a clear disparity, alleging that Trump “did willfully retain the documents,” knew he had the documents, and knew they were classified.

In the indictment, Trump is quoted as saying to a staffer that a document he showed was “secret information” and that “as president he could have declassified it” but now he can’t. Further, when subpoenaed to turn over the documents, Trump “endeavored to obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigation, and conceal his continued retention of classified documents,” the indictment alleges.

DEFENSE: Trump didn’t pack the boxes

Some right-wing media figures have claimed that the former president lacks culpability because he supposedly didn’t pack the boxes himself.

Fox’s Sean Duffy asked, “Do you think that he went through the boxes at Mar-a-Lago? Do you think he knows what he had in those boxes? I don’t think he did."

Former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer made the same claim on Fox, saying, “If President Trump himself did not pack up those boxes — if, as reported, GSA, the General Services Administration packed up the boxes, then it’s very hard to see culpability for the president. And I have it on reliable authority that Donald Trump himself never opened those boxes in Mar-a-Lago and has no idea what’s in them.”

INDICTMENT: Trump himself packed boxes

According to the indictment, “In January 2021, as he was preparing to leave the White House, Trump and his White House staff, including [Trump aide Walt] Nauta, packed items, including some of Trump’s boxes.” The indictment added, “Trump was personally involved in this process.”

DEFENSE: Nobody knows the proper declassification procedure anyway

On his radio show, Hannity downplayed potential obstruction of justice charges against Trump, and said: “I would argue, legally, he doesn't have any obligation to cooperate with, and nor can anyone give a real definition of whether or not, you know, exactly how one president is supposed to declassify the materials anyway.”

INDICTMENT: Trump says on tape that he couldn't declassify documents after leaving office

The indictment reveals that Trump had knowledge of the proper declassification procedure. In an audio recording during a meeting he had with a writer and several other people, “Trump showed and described a ‘plan of attack’ that Trump said was prepared for him by the Department of Defense.”

Trump told them that the plan he was showing was “highly confidential” and “secret,” and said, “As president I could have declassified it,” but “now I can’t.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Instagram Permits Nick Fuentes' 'Groypers' To Promote Neo-Nazism

Instagram Permits Nick Fuentes' 'Groypers' To Promote Neo-Nazism

Instagram is allowing groypers, followers of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, to promote Fuentes’ white Christian nationalist ideology on its platform, despite policies that seemingly prohibit such content.

Media Matters has identified at least 18 Instagram accounts associated with Fuentes or the groypers, along with at least 29 additional accounts that promote Fuentes and his America First groyper movement by sharing memes, clips, and links. Many of these accounts feature references to “groypers” or “America First” in their handles, and some are exclusively dedicated to posting clips from groyper livestreams.

We also found that Fuentes’ groypers often use Instagram’s link sticker feature, which allows users to link to content off the platform, to direct their followers to Cozy.TV, as well as other platforms like Twitter or YouTube. Cozy.TV is a streaming platform that Fuentes launched in 2021, which he describes as “anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-Black, antisemitic.” Fourteen of the accounts Media Matters identified link directly to Cozy.TV in their bios.

Fuentes is a 24-year-old streamer who advocates for the mainstream political right in the U.S. to embrace “white nationalist concerns within the shifting consensus that defines movement conservatism.” He has openly expressed antisemitic, sexist, racist, and homophobic views. He also participated in the 2017 Charlottesville Unite the Right rally and was subpoenaed for his participation in the protests that led to the January 6 insurrection.

Fuentes and his groypers strategically use internet spaces to market their racist messages and coordinate harassment campaigns. They have also used social media to organize events that seek to radicalize conservatives into backing their far-right beliefs.

Fuentes says he has been removed from several mainstream social media platforms, including Instagram, and also claims to have been blacklisted from several banks, airlines, payment processors, and Airbnb. Twitter banned Fuentes from its platform in 2021 — long after many other platforms had removed him. Fuentes repeatedly tried to evade the ban and return to Twitter, including shortly after Elon Musk took over, but on January 24, Fuentes’ original Twitter account was seemingly reinstated. Fuentes’ grievances about being blacklisted from mainstream institutions have recently helped him gain traction among more mainstream figures on the right, even though he has also praised Twitter in the past for helping him stay connected with his audience. At the time of publication, Fuentes does not appear to have an Instagram account that he identifies as his.

Meta, which owns Instagram, explicitly prohibits “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and white separatism on Facebook and Instagram.” Under the company’s dangerous individuals and organizations policy, Meta claims to ban such content and remove individuals and organizations that ascribe to those hateful ideologies.

One of the accounts identified by Media Matters claims to be the official account of Fuentes' Cozy.TV, and it promotes new streamers, special events, donation requests, and merchandise.

Kai Schwemmer, a 20-year-old groyper influencer, currently has over 12,000 followers on Instagram. Schwemmer uses stylized editing and memes to make his far-right content appeal to younger audiences. Schwemmer also maintains active accounts on other mainstream social media platforms and gained traction on TikTok as a member of the Republican Hype House. Schwemmer also has a notable offline presence, speaking at college campuses and conservative events, which he often promotes on his Instagram account.

Paul Escandon, who recently produced a movie about Fuentes, uses his Instagram to promote Fuentes and America First content. Escandon also hosts a show streamed on Cozy.TV, which also has an Instagram account.

Many of the groyper accounts Media Matters identified also use Instagram to post content that seemingly violates the platform's hate speech policy. While some posts explicitly promote racist content, Nazi imagery, and antisemitic rhetoric, others use coded language and dog whistles to send signals to an in-group audience — a phenomenon Media Matters has previously documented.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Musk's Sudden Ban Of Kanye For Anti-Semitism Enrages Right-Wing Pundits

Musk's Sudden Ban Of Kanye For Anti-Semitism Enrages Right-Wing Pundits

Rapper Ye’s December 2 ban from Twitter has become almost an act of martyrdom for some right-wing figures who have openly stated that antisemitic rants should be allowed on Musk’s free speech platform.

In the lead-up to his acquisition of Twitter, Musk declared himself a “free speech absolutist,” and soon began offering a “general amnesty” to previously banned accounts once he became the Chief Twit. The move was celebrated by right-wing figures who saw his takeover as a chance to reclaim a presence on the platform.

Despite Musk’s promises to ensure Twitter doesn’t become a “free-for-all hellscape,” harassment, hate speech, and conspiracy theories have flourished on the platform since he took charge. Accounts of a number of previously banned far-right and fringe actors have been restored, while some progressive and anti-fascist users have been hit with seemingly random and unsubstantiated bans.

Prior to Musk’s acquisition, Ye’s account had been temporarily restricted after an antisemitic tweet. His profile and tweets remained visible, but he was unable to create new posts. The post has since been deleted and Ye started tweeting again on November 20. (Musk claimed that Twitter made the decision to restore Ye’s account prior to his takeover.)

Ye’s return to Twitter commenced with his now-infamous “Shalom” tweet, and it was quickly followed by his two separate interviews packed with antisemitic tirades, including professing his admiration for Adolf Hitler. It was not until Ye tweeted a picture of a swastika interlaced with a Star of David that Musk banned his account on the grounds that the post promoted violence.

After Ye’s ban, many right-wing outlets were quick to cry foul on Musk for supposedly walking back his promises for a free speech platform. Some even took their criticism a step further and excused Ye’s post, incorrectly suggesting that his First Amendment right to free speech prevents Musk from banning him — as the new Twitter CEO has vocally opposed “censorship that goes far beyond the law” — or saying that the comments did not rise to the level of inciting violence. Fringe social media users similarly berated Musk’s decision, with some posts echoing the same antisemitism that got Ye banned. Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist who has been working closely with Ye, lambasted Musk for bowing to “high pressure activist groups (Jewish)” and making Twitter a “controlled platform.”

While many of those critical of Ye’s ban have been quick to note that antisemitism and other forms of hate are protected free speech, countless experts and analysts have pointed to the very real and harmful effects of unchecked hate speech. High-profile instances of antisemitic speech like Ye’s have been accompanied by banner drops, instances of vandalism, and other acts that serve only to further hatred against Jewish people.

  • On the December 2 edition of The Daily Wire’s The Ben Shapiro Show, Ben Shapiro sharply denounced Ye’s antisemitism, but still asked: “Is what Ye is doing tantamount to incitement? I don’t think so because I have a very strict legal standard for incitement. So do I think Ye actually should be banned from Twitter? I think the answer is no. I don’t think that Ye should be banned from Twitter. … I actually don’t think that Musk should have done it.”
  • Infowars published an article bemoaning that “Musk said last week he was going to launch a ‘general amnesty’ this week and start unbanning people en masse if they hadn’t ‘broken the law or engaged in egregious spam’ but instead he has banned Ye over complete bulls**t.”
  • A December 2 article on Breitbart asserted that Ye’s suspension from Twitter demonstrates that Musk’s calls for “free speech absolutism” on the platform is “a fantasy.”
  • Tayler Hansen, an independent conservative journalist known for covering the January 6 Capitol insurrection, pushed back against Musk’s decision on Twitter, saying, “As a free speech absolutist this permanent ban doesn’t feel right— even if you vehemently disagree with what @kanyewest was saying today, he did not break the law. What is the official reason for Ye’s perma-ban?”
  • Conservative media pundit and virulent racist Ann Coulter also lambasted Musk for suspending Ye, arguing, “You believe in free speech or you don't, @elonmusk. Even the ACLU defended a Nazi parade on free speech grounds. This isn't even a parade. It's just WORDS.”
  • Newsmax producer Justine Brooke Murray defended Ye’s right to post anything on Twitter: “You can’t pick and choose when to support free speech. Let antisemites like Kanye publicly humiliate themselves. Remember Skokie, Illinois?”
  • Timcast Editor-in-Chief Cassandra McDonald tweeted, “Instead of saying I support free speech I’m just going to start saying I support the freedom to offend. It shouldn’t need to be said, but it does.”
  • Discussing Ye’s suspension on Fox News’ The Five, co-host Jeanine Pirro claimed, “America was founded on the concept of free speech. Hate speech is protected. … You’re free to say whatever you want.”
  • Actor Kevin Sorbo tweeted, “I may not agree with what Ye said yesterday. But he has the right to say it. That’s how free speech works.”
  • Podcast host Joe Walsh tweeted, “As an American, I will defend any American’s right to be an anti-Semite, or a bigot, or a racist. Because I will always defend free speech. But as a human, I will fight against all anti-Semitism, bigotry, and racism. Because I will always fight against evil.”
  • On Newsmax, conservative contributor Erin Elmore said, “The speech we should protect is the speech that offends us the most, and we do live in the United States of America and as conservatives, we’ve often said, ‘We're being censored, we're being silenced.’ Nobody should be censored or silenced.” Daily Caller reporter Brianna Lyman added, “It's very concerning for me to hear this, but nonetheless, Kanye has the right to say this. Now with Twitter specifically though, the biggest question is what is the official reason that Musk banned him. If it's because of what he said on Infowars, then Musk does not believe in free speech like he claims he does.”
  • Cartoonist Scott Adams tweeted, “If the limit to free speech is ‘inciting violence,’ free speech is an illusion. If Elon Musk gets to decide how much you incited violence with your free speech, are you free? Not even close. It doesn't matter who decides. It isn't a practical standard in a woke world.”

  • Conservative social media influencers Hodgetwins wrote, “Kanye said some crazy shit. Nobody agrees with him saying he supports Hitler and Nazi’s, but he shouldn’t of been banned. No laws broken, he didn’t incite violence. We can disagree with what people say but that doesn’t mean they should be permanently banned.”
Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.
Musk Sold Blue Checkmarks To Extremists Now Spreading Hate On Twitter

Musk Sold Blue Checkmarks To Extremists Now Spreading Hate On Twitter

In recent days, numerous Twitter accounts that were suspended for violating the platform’s rules or have a documented history of spreading conspiracy theories and hate speech have purchased a check mark through the new Twitter Blue feature.

On November 9, Twitter launched its updated Twitter Blue feature. The program allows users to pay $7.99 a month for a blue check mark -- which previously served to signal that the account’s identity had been verified -- and “early access to select new features,” such as “half the ads” and priority ranking for “quality content.”

In a Twitter Space held the same day, Musk tried to address some concerns, including about the new Twitter Blue feature and advertisers' concern around hate speech on the platform. During it, he baselessly claimed that ads will not appear next to hate speech and that “the propensity of someone to engage in hate speech if they have paid $8 and are risking the suspension of their account is going to be far, far less.” He provided no evidence for either claim.

Musk’s Twitter Blue has drawn criticism and concern, as users quickly abused the service to impersonate religious figures, government officials, politicians, athletes, brands, and others. (Twitter’s current policies still claim that “blue checkmarks may be taken away at any time for any reason at all by Twitter, including as the result of certain types of violations of the Twitter Rules, including but not limited to our rules around spam, ban evasion, and impersonation.”)

Media Matters has already identified several users that now have a blue check mark through a paid subscription to Twitter Blue, even though they have been previously banned or suspended from Twitter for violating its rules or are known to spread extreme content, hate speech, and misinformation. Some of these accounts have even already spread hate or misinformation since purchasing Twitter Blue.

Libs of TikTok

Anti-LGBTQ account Libs of TikTok has become notorious for spreading anti-LGBTQ rhetoric on Twitter, while targeting schools, Pride events, and individuals. The account has been suspended from Twitter multiple times for hateful conduct.

Gays Against Groomers

Anti-trans group Gays Against Groomers has also worked to push the baseless claim that trans people are “groomers” and spread anti-trans sentiment on both Twitter and Instagram. Gays Against Groomers has been suspended from Twitter at least four times in the past.

Billboard Chris

Chris Elston, who goes by Billboard Chris on various social media platforms, is a Canadian anti-trans activist known for harassing trans health care providers. His Twitter account has been suspended at least once in the past and since his return, he has continued to document his stunts and post harmful rhetoric about trans people.


Right-wing troll account Catturd – which Musk has interacted with on Twitter – has used the platform to spread misinformation and conduct harassment campaigns.

Bryson Gray

MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray has expressed support for white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ America First movement, using his Twitter platform to do so. Gray is also set to do a livestream with white nationalist Baked Alaska on Fuentes’ streaming platform on the evening of November 10. In a video on the Telegram channel of QAnon promoter Jeffrey Pedersen, who goes by the handle “intheMatrixxx,” Gray invoked the QAnon slogan: “Where we go one, we go all.”

Red Eagle Politics

Jack Francis, who goes by Red Eagle Politics, is a member of the American Populist Union, a group similar to Fuentes’ America First. Francis has expressed support for the America First movement on his Twitter account.

Blake Kresses

Blake Kresses -- a member of the Republican Hype House, a former Turning Point USA ambassador, and a content host for right-wing nonprofit Today is America -- now hosts a far-right YouTube show along with Today is America members Kaden Lopez and Gabriel Victal (who also has subscribed to Twitter Blue). Their show has featured Kai Schwemmer -- a known associate of white nationalist Nick Fuentes. During the show, Kresses referred to Schwemmer (who is also featured in Kresses’ Twitter banner photo, along with Jack Francis aka Red Eagle Politics) as a “favorite good friend” and promoted his streaming content on Fuentes’ website. Kresses has repeatedly posted blatant anti-LGBTQ rhetoric to his Twitter account and has been suspended at least once for doing so.

White Supremacists Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer

In 2017, Twitter changed its account verification policy after facing criticism for verifying Jason Kessler, a white supremacist behind the deadly Unite the Right rally Charlottesville, Virginia. Twitter revoked Kessler’s verification, along with other white nationalists like Richard Spencer. Both Kessler and Spencer have subscribed to Twitter Blue, and Kessler is even advocating for Musk to reinstate fellow white supremacist David Duke.

QAnon-supporting Accounts

Twitter accounts belonging to Nicholas Veniamin, host of a QAnon podcast, and Woke Societies, a QAnon show banned from YouTube, have also been able to acquire a blue check mark through a paid subscription.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ Posts Show Why Meta Shouldn't Restore His Status

Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ Posts Show Why Meta Shouldn't Restore His Status

As Meta considers whether to allow former President Donald Trump back on its platforms, his increasingly extreme behavior on his social media platform Truth Social — pushing misinformation and amplifying conspiracy theories — demonstrates the potential real-world harm that such a move would pose.

Meta suspended Trump from posting on its platforms for at least two years after the January 6 insurrection, publicly citing his use of Facebook “to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” Less than four months from now, Meta will decide whether “the risk to public safety has receded” to allow Trump back on Facebook and Instagram — which Meta global affairs president Nick Clegg recently suggested was likely. According to Clegg, “accuracy or sentiment about” Trump’s content would not be a “driving factor” in the decision to end his suspension.

While suspended from Meta’s platforms and other social media, Trump launched Truth Social in February to get back online and avoid moderation. The platform has become a home for dangerous and hateful content, including Trump’s own 1,524 posts (through October 2) and an additional 673 posts that he has shared. In fact, many of these posts are centered around pushing election misinformation, attacking and inciting violence against his political foes, and promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Trump’s activity on Truth Social mirrors his behavior on Facebook before he was suspended and his extreme rhetoric even since the violence on January 6. Media Matters previously found that roughly a quarter of Trump’s Facebook posts between January 1, 2020, and when he was suspended on January 6, 2021, contained COVID-19 misinformation, election lies, or extreme rhetoric about his critics. Trump also maintained a presence on Facebook since being suspended, with Facebook ads from his joint fundraising committee pushing election misinformation and Facebook videos of Trump’s misinformation-filled rallies that have earned millions of views.

Trump continues to push and amplify election misinformation, other false claims, and the QAnon conspiracy theory on Truth Social.

Pushing election misinformation

Trump’s denial of the results of the 2020 election, and his prolific social media posts on the topic, contributed to the January 6 riot at the capitol, and subsequently to his suspension from Meta's platforms. He has continued to spread the same incendiary election lies on Truth Social.

In posts with such misinformation, Trump claimed that Democrats’ “biggest LIE, by far, is the results of the Presidential Election,” and that the “Election was Rigged and Stolen.” He also promoted Dinesh D’Souza’s Big Lie documentary 2000 Mules. Media Matters analyzed Trump’s posts on Truth Social and found at least 58 mentions of the word “rigged” in at least 55 posts, and at least 255 mentions of the word “election” in at least 195 posts.

Pushing misinformation about the FBI searching Mar-a-Lago

A subset of Trump’s recent posts on Truth Social focused on the FBI’s search for government documents at his Florida property. Once again, Trump’s rhetoric led to his supporters threatening violence online, and eventually to real-world harm when one man attempted to attack an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In one of Trump's posts about Mar-a-Lago being searched, he attacked the judge who authorized the warrant, claiming he held “animosity and hatred of your favorite president,” even after the judge was subjected to right-wing attacks. In other posts, Trump claimed that all documents in his possession were declassified and that the FBI took privileged material, and he shared a statement that claimed that the search was “not necessary or appropriate” and an attempt to “stop me, and the Republican Party, once more.” Trump repeatedly referred to the search as a “raid.” In fact, there were at least 116 mentions of the word “raid” in at least 92 of his posts. There were also at least 77 mentions of the term “Mar-a-Lago” in at least 67 posts.

Amplifying the QAnon conspiracy theory

Trump has repeatedly amplified and pandered to the QAnon community on Truth Social. Based on Media Matters' analysis, Trump has amplified at least 61 QAnon accounts more than 130 times on Truth Social. On September 27 and 28, Trump amplified at least 11 different QAnon accounts a total of 22 times.

Trump amplified QAnon at least 315 times on Twitter before being suspended, and has since more openly embraced the conspiracy movement — continuing to amplify such accounts and using a QAnon-related song during campaign events. The QAnon conspiracy theory has been tied to various acts of real world violence and is considered a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI. Meta's policies against militarized social movements include a ban on accounts promoting QAnon, but Clegg has decided to highlight Facebook’s likelihood of restoring Trump’s account at a time when Trump has increasingly promoted the conspiracy theory.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.