Musk suspends Kanye West Twitter account after swastika post and 'I like Hitler' comments

Rapper appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's show Infowars where he declared his admiration for the Nazis

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Twitter has again suspended the account of rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, for a breach of the site's terms of use for inciting violence.

The move came shortly after a series of erratic posts, including one showing the Nazi swastika symbol and a Jewish star, and an appearance on the show of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, in which the rapper said he had admiration for Adolf Hitler.

It is the latest in a growing number of comments branded anti-Semitic by Jewish groups.

Elon Musk, Twitter's billionaire new owner, replied to a user who called on him to "fix Kanye" saying he had tried but would now suspend the controversial star from the site.

"I tried my best. Despite that, he again violated our rule against incitement to violence," Mr Musk wrote on Friday.

"Account will be suspended."

A short time later, Ye's account under his real name, @KanyeWest, was suspended from the site.

Mr Musk also clarified the reason for Ye's suspension after a question from Kim Dotcom, a controversial tech entrepreneur and founder of the illegal file-hosting service Megaupload, saying it was for inciting violence rather than posting unflattering images of the Twitter boss.

Mr Musk has also said he had spoken to Ye about his "concerns" over the rapper's recent tweets ahead of the latest posts, saying "which I think he took to heart".

It is unclear how long Ye will be off the site as he posted a screenshot of a Twitter 12-hour ban warning on Truth Social, the social media site of former US president Donald Trump.

On Thursday night, Ye spoke to Mr Jones on his show Infowars and sparked further anger when he said he "loves" Nazis and praised the former German leader.

In an extraordinary hours-long appearance, Ye wore a black mask completely covering his face as he ranted about sin, pornography and the devil.

"I like Hitler," he said several times.

Even though West hid his face ― the mask had neither eye nor mouth slits ― there seemed no doubt it was him.

Mr Jones addressed him as West as they spoke, Infowars billed the interview as being with Ye, and at one point Mr Jones took the rapper's cellphone and posted a tweet on his account that appeared in real time.

West, who has hinted he plans to run again for US president in 2024, has spoken openly about his struggles with mental illness, but his erratic behaviour continues to raise concerns.

The rapper-businessman's commercial relationships crumbled after a series of anti-Semitic comments.

In his lengthy appearance on Infowars, Ye drew shocked laughter and even disagreement from far-right host Mr Jones.

"I see good things about Hitler also," he told Mr Jones.

"This guy ... invented highways, invented the very microphone that I used as a musician, you can't say out loud that this person ever did anything good, and I'm done with that."

Hitler is not credited with inventing either motorways or microphones.

"I'm done with the classification, every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler," he said.

"I like Hitler."

Mr Jones, a serial provocateur who has been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for claiming one of America's deadliest school shootings was a hoax, interjected, saying that "the Nazis were thugs and did really bad things".

But Ye stuck to his guns.

"But they did good things too. We gotta stop dissing the Nazis all the time ... I love Nazis," he said.

Hours after the interview, social media platform Parler, a favourite of conservatives for its hands-off approach to moderation, said a deal for Ye to buy the platform was off.

"Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler," the network said on Twitter.

"This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November."

In October, German sportswear giant Adidas severed its lucrative tie-up with Ye after the star made anti-Semitic statements, including threatening to "go death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE", using a misspelt reference to US nuclear military readiness levels.

Paris fashion house Balenciaga and US clothing retailer Gap also ended ties with West, who appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt with the slogan "White Lives Matter", a rebuke to the Black Lives Matter racial equality movement.

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump and Kanye West pose for a picture in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.  Kanye West will visit the White House on Thursday to meet with President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner talk about manufacturing in America, gang violence, prison reform and Chicago violence. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Ye appeared on Mr Jones's programme with Nick Fuentes, an accused white supremacist with whom the rapper last week had dinner alongside Donald Trump at the former president's Florida estate.

Thursday's livestream sparked immediate condemnation from the Republican Jewish Coalition, which described the three men as "a disgusting triumvirate of conspiracy theorists, Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semites".

"Given his praise of Hitler, it can't be overstated that Kanye West is a vile, repellent bigot who has targeted the Jewish community with threats and Nazi-style defamation," the group said.

"Conservatives who have mistakenly indulged Kanye West must make it clear that he is a pariah. Enough is enough." - Additional reporting by agencies

Updated: December 02, 2022, 1:46 PM