On Friday, Twitter took action against a far-right British commentator who US President Trump has retweeted several times. Katie Hopkins has been permanently barred from the platform for violating its rules on hateful conduct, a company spokesperson said.
Hopkins, a columnist and former contestant on the British edition of "The Apprentice" reality TV show, has made a series of incendiary and racist comments about immigrants, Muslims and others.
Her Twitter account was temporarily suspended in January.
"Keeping Twitter safe is a top priority for us - abuse and hateful conduct have no place on our service and we will continue to take action when our Rules are broken. In this case, the account has been permanently suspended for violations of our Hateful Conduct policy," a spokesperson for Twitter was quoted as saying by CNN.
A representative for Hopkins, who had more than 1 million followers, did not immediately respond to messages on Friday.
An online petition started a couple of years ago also came forth during the news of her suspension. Signed by over 75K people, the bio of the petition read: "Unbelievably, Katie Hopkins has been given a platform to insult, abuse and cause outrage for far too long. Attacking victims of Child Sex Exploitation is possibly the most disgusting act that any human can do. Does she have no boundaries? The scary thing is, this could happen to her own children right under her nose - being as self obsessed as she Is, how would she see the signs?"
"I think it's about time Twitter took action and removed her from their platform, just as Facebook have done with Britain First," the petition bio further read.
The news drew a mixed reaction from Twitterati.
Trump has retweeted Katie Hopkins countless times despite knowing she is a hatemonger who called for a "final solution" on Muslims, referred to migrants as "cockroaches" and promoted anti semitic conspiracies. Ask yourself why? https://t.co/IGKE7R1ZKT— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) June 19, 2020
I'm sad to see Katie Hopkins banned from Twitter, because it sets a dangerous precedent. If we were to start banning all racists and agitators, it could put us on a slippery slope to a society where people treat each other with kindness, tolerance and-- ok, let's get banning. 👊🏽— Dr Meenal Viz (@meenalsworld) June 19, 2020
The Twitter employee who got to press 'delete' on Katie Hopkins' account. pic.twitter.com/ntRmEzNxOg— Munya Chawawa (@munyachawawa) June 19, 2020
Censorship should never be celebrated. No matter how vile and racist someone is. Censorship is on step closer to Tyranny and endangers us all. Katie Hopkins .— Syrian Girl 🇸🇾 (@Partisangirl) June 19, 2020
Her suspension comes amid Twitter slapping labels on Trump's tweets. Recently, the microblogging site warned that a video the US President had shared was doctored, escalating the social media company's crackdown on one of its most widely followed users.
After Trump tweeted the video late Thursday, Twitter took the rare step of adding a warning that it was "manipulated media" and linked to a page that said multiple journalists confirmed the clip was edited to make it look like a CNN broadcast. The video remains visible on Trump's timeline.
The doctored clip used footage from a video that went viral last year of two toddlers, one black, one white, which CNN used for a story it did on the boys' friendship.
(With AP inputs)