Things That Matter

Steve Bannon Permanently Banned From Twitter After He Uses the Platform to Say Anthony Fauci Should Be Beheaded

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Steve Bannon has been permanently banned from Twitter after he posted a video to the platform suggesting that Donald Trump should behead Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

On Thursday morning, Bannon posted a problematic video from his online show, “War Room: Pandemic” to his Twitter account. In it, Bannon said that Trump should fire both Dr. Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

But simply firing Fauci and Wray wouldn’t be enough for Bannon, he also called for their beheading.

His exact words were as follows: “I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.”

The gruesome statement violated Twitter’s policy against citing violence and the social media giant quickly took action by removing the video and permanently suspending his account. And Twitter is not the only social media platform to take action. Both Facebook and YouTube removed the video, stating that it violated their policies against calling for violence. But Bannon’s video had already been live on Facebook for 10 hours and racked up hundreds of thousands of views before Facebook took action.

As a refresher, Steve Bannon was President Trump’s Chief Strategist before he was fired from the administration in 2017.

Before that, Bannon was the head of Breitbart news, a far-right publication that he described to reporters as a “platform for the alt right”. Trump’s former Chief Strategist has long touted extreme right-wing views, opposing immigration and lauding pro-Western nationalism.

He has been endorsed by white nationalists and white supremacists like alt-right personality Richard Spencer and KKK member David Duke. He once told a crowd of members of the far-right National Front party in France to, “Let them call you racists. Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”  

At such a crucial and high-stakes point in our history, both misinformation and calls-to-violence are unfortunately running rampant on social media–some of which are promoted by President Trump himself.

At this point, social media platforms know they have not only a responsibility, but a duty to discipline users who abuse their platforms. To combat the spread of dangerous misinformation that fuel the flames of anger and division among Americans right now, social media platforms are going to great lengths to flag and remove content that is false, unverified, or directly violent.

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