LOS ANGELES – Elon Musk kicked Kanye West off Twitter on Friday “for incitement to violence”, after the rapper posted a picture that appeared to show a swastika interlaced with a Star of David.
The post came hours after an interview on Infowars with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, 48, in which West, 45, sparked outrage by declaring his “love” of Nazis and admiration for Adolf Hitler.
West had also shared a picture of a shirtless Musk getting sprayed with water, captioned: “Let’s always remember this as my final tweet.”
In response, Musk, 51, said: “Just clarifying that his account is being suspended for incitement to violence, not an unflattering pic of me.”
Musk, who previously called himself a “free speech absolutist”, has repeatedly said he believes all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and sought to remake the social media organisation after he took control in October.
In an hours-long appearance on Infowars, West – now known as Ye – wore a black mask completely covering his face, as he ranted about sin, pornography and the devil.
“I like Hitler,” West said several times.
West, who has hinted he is running for United States president in 2024, has spoken openly about his struggles with mental illness, but his erratic behavior has continued to raise concerns.
The businessman has seen his commercial relationships crumble after a series of anti-Semitic comments, as the one-time titan of fashion and music appears to have entered a disturbing spiral.
Hours after the interview, social media platform Parler, a favourite of conservatives for its hands-off approach to moderation, said a deal for West to buy the outfit was off.
The network said on Twitter: “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”
In October, German sportswear giant Adidas severed its lucrative tie-up with West after the star made anti-Semitic statements. Paris fashion house Balenciaga and US clothing retailer Gap also ended ties with West, who appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt with the slogan “White Lives Matter”. a rebuke to the Black Lives Matter racial equality movement. AFP