Milo Yiannopoulos Isn’t a Free-Speech Martyr
It started Monday night, when Leslie Jones, one of the co-stars of Ghostbusters, was tweeting about some of the racist abuse she had received of late, and responding angrily to the harassers themselves. Yiannopoulos jumped in, accusing her of playing the victim to make up for the fact that the film has been poorly reviewed. Things quickly escalated, and soon Yiannopoulos went Full Milo, spreading fake screenshots of Jones saying terrible things, and calling her “barely literate,” a “hammy 80s black caricature,” and a man (thanks to Colby Klaus for archiving all this). Because Yiannopoulos has so many followers who post racist things — some of them claiming to do it “for the lulz,” but plenty of others actual, hardened Nazis and white nationalists, if their profiles are any indication — the results of his tweeting about her repeatedly were inevitable and depressing: The wave of racist and sexist harassment she’d been dealing with only intensified.
Soon, Jones, after having publicly pleaded with Twitter to do something, announced that she was leaving the site altogether. That same evening, a number of celebrities stepped in to express their support for her and their desire for Twitter to intervene, and CEO Jack Dorsey promised he would: