The controversial right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins has had her Twitter account permanently suspended for violating the platform’s “hateful conduct” policy.
Hopkins is an English media personality, columnist, social critic, and former businesswoman. She was a contestant on the third series of The Apprentice in 2007, and following further appearances in the media, she became a columnist for British national newspapers.
Hopkins, who has been repeatedly retweeted by the US president, Donald Trump, and had more than 1.1 million followers, was removed to ‘keep Twitter safe’, according to the social media platform.
The move came hours after she had complained that her blue ‘verified’ check mark, which lets users know that an account is authentic, had been removed. A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed her removal to the Guardian.
The statement read: “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.”
According to Twitter’s website, that policy prohibits promoting violence against or directly attacking or threatening people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability or serious disease.
Hopkins has been heavily criticised in the past for her comments, including comparing migrants to cockroaches and claiming the photograph of a dead Syrian boy lying on a beach that sparked a wave of compassion across Europe was staged, as well as stating that people with dementia should not “block” hospital beds.
Recently, she has been criticising the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the government’s decision to offer free meals to children during school holidays, a campaign driven by the Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.
In her final tweets before the ban, she celebrated hitting 1.1 million followers and urged her fans to follow her on Instagram.
Hopkins, who rose to prominence as a contestant on The Apprentice, regularly tweets pro-Trump, pro-Brexit and anti-immigration messages, and has launched a series of attacks on the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. In January, she was temporarily locked out of the platform for violating its anti-hate policy.
In 2018, Hopkins was forced to apply for an insolvency agreement to avoid bankruptcy after a costly libel case involving the food writer Jack Monroe. She previously wrote for Rebel Media, the Canadian far-right firm that has also employed the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.
She parted ways with Mail Online, for which she wrote a regular column, in late 2017, a few months after losing her LBC radio show, on which she called for a “final solution” in response to the Manchester Arena terrorist attack.
Being removed from Twitter could prove to be a major blow to Hopkins’ profile. Previous far-right figures who have been banned, including Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones, have struggled for relevance afterwards.
The Guardian has approached both Instagram and a representative for Hopkins for comment.
With those in power failing us …
… at this historic moment, we demand better. From the covid pandemic and police brutality to the marginalisation of minority communities around the world, leadership is broken. Devoid of the humility and inclusivity we so desperately need, leaders are gambling with public health, safety and the future of younger generations. Lacking in honesty and transparency, poor at crisis management, and given to narcissism, our leaders unapologetically prioritise serving themselves over the people they were elected to serve. We have to make them raise their game.
That’s what the Guardian’s here for. As an open, independent news organisation we investigate, interrogate and expose the incompetence and indifference of those in power, without fear. Our journalism is free from political and commercial bias – this makes us different. We can give a voice to the oppressed and neglected, and stand in solidarity with those who are calling for a fairer future. With your help we can bring about improvement.
Millions are flocking to the Guardian for quality news every day. We believe everyone deserves access to information that is fact-checked, and analysis that has authority and integrity. That’s why, unlike many others, we made a choice: to keep Guardian reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
We’re determined to provide journalism that helps each of us better understand the world, and take actions that challenge, unite, and inspire change – in times of crisis and beyond. Our work would not be possible without our readers, who now support our work from 180 countries around the world. Your support keeps us independent, open, and means we can maintain our high-quality reporting – investigating, disentangling and interrogating. – TheGuardian