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Elon Musk says Ye is suspended from Twitter

Updated December 2, 2022 at 1:32 AM ET

Twitter suspended the account for Ye, the rapper and mogul formerly known as Kanye West, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said early Friday. The move came after the rapper posted on Twitter an image of a swastika depicted inside a Star of David.

"I tried my best," Musk said in a tweet. "Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended." The entertainer's Twitter account acknowledged that it has been "suspended."

The announcement of the suspension on Twitter came after a potential deal between Ye and Parler was off. The conservative social media platform confirmed in a statement to NPR that it has ended a previous deal to sell the site to Ye, the rapper and mogul formerly known as Kanye West.

"This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community," according to a spokesperson for the network's parent company, Parlement Technologies.

Ye has been widely condemned for repeatedly making antisemitic remarks, including saying "I like Hitler" and denying the Holocaust in an appearance Thursday on an alt-right show hosted by Alex Jones, a conspiracy theorist who owes more than a billion dollars in damages to parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims.

The Ye-Parler deal was previously supposed to close by the end of year.

Before they inked the now-collapsed deal, Parler had been desperately seeking a buyer to help save the company, which has been financially distressed for months, according to a person close to the company.

It is not clear whether Ye's antisemitism had anything to do with the acquisition falling through, but the person said Ye's becoming increasingly isolated in the business world was a factor.

Parler became a hit among fans of former President Trump following the 2020 presidential election, as right-wing critics held it up as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. It was a key organizing site for some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Hundreds of them posted photos and videos to Parler of that day's violence, leading Apple and Amazon to cut ties with the platform.

Since then, Parler has struggled to survive amid a declining user base and growing competition in the world of right-wing social media. Other alternative networks, including Trump's Truth Social site, have tried to become the go-to Twitter alternative. The increasingly crowded field also includes sites Gab and Gettr.

Parler has 40,000 daily active users, according to data from analytics company Apptopia. Twitter, by comparison, has more than 200 million.

Ye sought out Parler after he had been previously banned from Twitter, as well Instagram, for his antisemitic posts. Musk had reinstated Ye's Twitter account in November before Friday's suspension.

Ye was also condemned for meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who denies the Holocaust, at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort last week.

In October, Adidas dropped Ye from its clothing line after the former rapper made antisemitic comments.

NPR's Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mary Yang
Mary Yang is an intern on the Business Desk where she covers technology, media, labor and the economy. She comes to NPR from Foreign Policy where she covered the beginning of Russia's war in Ukraine and built a beat on Southeast Asia, Asia and the Pacific Islands.