elon musk just let a notorious neo nazi troll back on twitter

Andrew Anglin ― a notorious neo-Nazi whose antisemitic conspiracy theories, white supremacist hate speech and alt-right trolling were deemed so dangerous that courts have ordered him to pay millions of dollars to his victims ― was welcomed back to Twitter on Thursday night after a nearly decade-long ban from the social media platform.

His return is an apparent part of newly minuted Twitter owner Elon Musk’s efforts to restore “free speech” to the platform, even if that means welcoming back people like Anglin who’ve incited campaigns to bombard journalists with threatening tweets.

“I deleted all the old stuff that was on this account. I will strictly follow whatever the rules are. If I get banned, it’s not for anything I said, it’s just because I’m me,” tweeted Anglin, who’s best known for creating The Daily Stormer ― an influential neo-Nazi website named for a Nazi propaganda paper. Twitter banned Anglin in 2013, the year he launched his site, and he’s currently in hiding.

Since being reinstated, Anglin has expressed his support for Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, with several tweets and a “YE24” in his bio, referring to the rap mogul’s stated intention to run for president in 2024. This comes a day after Ye went on a disturbing tirade declaring his “love” for Adolf Hitler and Nazis, claiming the German dictator “seems like a cool guy” and denying that Hitler oversaw the slaughter of 6 million Jews and others in the Holocaust. Musk has since suspended the rapper from Twitter, saying Ye tweeting an image of a swastika inside the Star of David violated the platform’s rules against inciting violence.

“Saying you love Hitler is not even a big deal. No one cares about that. The man died 80 years ago.”

– Andrew Anglin on his first day back on Twitter

On his first full day back on Twitter, Anglin said the reaction to Ye’s comments was overblown.

“Saying you love Hitler is not even a big deal. No one cares about that. The man died 80 years ago,” he tweeted.

It’s a perplexing stance from a man who clearly does care about Hitler, whether he admits it or not. Many of his comments over the years sound like they’re straight from the notorious dictator’s playbook, writing in 2016 that the goal of the alt-right movement is to “ethnically cleanse White nations of non-Whites and establish an authoritarian government. Many people also believe that the Jews should be exterminated.”

Some of the headlines Anglin ran on his website, which helped fuel the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, include “All Intelligent People in History Disliked Jews” and “Adolf Hitler: The Most Lied About Man of All Time.”

In 2016, he called on his followers to unleash a “troll storm” on real estate agent Tanya Gersh, her husband and her 12-year-old son, accusing her of trying to run white nationalist Richard Spencer’s mother out of Whitefish, Montana. A judge ruled in 2019 that he should pay her $14 million in damages. However, Anglin has refused to appear in court, and his location remains unknown. A judge issued an arrest warrant for him last month over his refusal to comply with a court order.

In another 2019 ruling, a judge ordered Anglin and others behind The Daily Stormer to pay $725,000 in damages to a Black student at American University for launching a racist, sexist trolling campaign against her.

Some of Anglin’s most blatant calls for violence have focused on women.

“Look, I hate women. I think they deserve to be beaten, raped and locked in cages,” he said in 2018. On another occasion, he wrote: “Women crave men who call them stupid and claim they shouldn’t have any rights. They also crave being tied up, beaten and raped.”

On his newly reinstated Twitter account on Friday, Anglin complained he was the victim of “mass spamming” ― the very thing that landed him in court ― and that his past comments were misinterpreted jokes.

“You people are completely unhinged, mass spamming me with death threats, claiming I deserve to be murdered because you uncharitably interpreted jokes I made years ago,” he wrote.

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