West, the rapper and designer who now goes by Ye, tweeted the swastika shortly after wrapping a three-hour-long appearance on Infowars, the streaming show hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, in which he repeatedly praised Adolf Hitler, said he loved Nazis and denied that the Holocaust happened as it did.
The picture that Ye posted — and that he and his children had been photographed wearing on shirts — was not the straightforward Nazi logo but instead a swastika inside a Star of David, a mashup of symbols associated with Raelism, a movement that believes that aliens created humanity. He indicated that it would be his presidential campaign’s logo.
“I tried my best,” Musk tweeted late Thursday night in reply to a user urging him to help Ye. “Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence. Account will be suspended.”
Musk, who is known to be vindictive toward his personal detractors, said he was not penalizing Ye for posting an unflattering picture of him. “This is fine,” Musk posted below the picture before Ye’s account was disabled and emphasizing the point in another tweet.
Musk did not comment on Ye’s Infowars appearance, which captivated news consumers as information about it was shared widely in real time Thursday afternoon. Ye’s appearance on the show, which came a week after he dined with former President Donald Trump and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, drew sharp criticism from Jewish leaders, hate watchdogs and others alarmed by his sustained and mostly unchallenged praise for Hitler.
“There is nothing to like about Nazis or Hitler, the architect of the mass murder of 6 million Jews,” the Jewish Federations of North America tweeted in a statement. “Unfortunately, Ye’s latest comments continue to amplify antisemitism and hatred, the breeding grounds for physical violence against the Jewish people. It’s time for those with big platforms who give him a stage to realize they are complicit.”
“Conservatives who have mistakenly indulged Kanye West must make it clear that he is a pariah,” leaders of the Republican Jewish Coalition said in a statement that alluded to but did not name Trump. “Enough is enough.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted that Ye’s comments “are not just vile and offensive: they put Jews in danger.” He followed up with a tweeted directed to Musk, whose behavior since acquiring Twitter in October led the ADL to call for a boycott by advertisers: “Is this someone you still want to warmly welcome back to the platform? Jews right now need allies, not enablers.”
Amid the uproar over Ye’s Infowars appearance, an account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee deleted a tweet that had come to represent commitment by a portion of the party to far-right ideas. “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” read the tweet, which was posted Oct. 6, as West first drew criticism for unveiling a “White Lives Matter” shirt at a Paris fashion show. In the months since, Trump has launched his presidential campaign and dined with Holocaust deniers, Musk has eviscerated Twitter and Ye has leaned into antisemitism, but the tweet had remained online.
Also on Thursday, the social media platform Parler announced that Ye’s proposal to purchase it had been canceled. A spokesperson said Ye and Parler “mutually agreed” earlier this month not to move forward with the acquisition, which Ye had vowed after being suspended from Twitter. Parler is popular among conservatives whose ideas have violated Twitter’s rules, and Ye said he would preserve it as a place for right-wing views. After his suspension from Twitter Thursday night, he posted to Truth Social, the platform owned by Trump, who has not posted to Twitter since Musk restored his account.
Ye’s indefinite Twitter suspension marks the first removal of a high-profile user restored by Musk as part of his vow to allow most speech on the platform. It generated criticism from free-speech absolutists on the platform and elsewhere who had believed him to share their views unconditionally. PJC