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Milo on CNBC: I Am Public Enemy Number One for Twitter

Appearing on CNBC at the RNC in Cleveland, Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos discussed his suspension from Twitter that arose as a result of a supposed “harassment campaign” against Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones, of which Milo said there was “no suggestion whatsoever” of his involvement, claiming the real reason he was suspended is because he was “Twitter’s Public Enemy Number One.”

CNBC interviewer Michelle Caruso-Cabrera opened with the classic mainstream media talking point that the internet is a “mean place” with a complete lack of civility, along with attempting to pin the racist tweets against Jones on Yiannopoulos because some of them followed him on Twitter, subtly implying that was reason enough for him to be suspended. Milo shot back against this, arguing that being mean is not “a reason to excise someone from the platform – plenty of people enjoy what I do, over 380,000 people enjoy what I do.”

In response to the fact that others insulted Jones, Yiannopoulos replied that he was “not responsible for what other people post on the Internet. Is Justin Bieber responsible for when his fans cut themselves with the hashtag #cutforbieber? Is Beyonce responsible for when her fans go after One-Directioners with death threats and rape threats? Of course not. It is preposterous to suggest that a public figure or entertainment personality or a prominent journalist is responsible for what other people post on the Internet.”

Bringing up a statement from Twitter, Caruso-Cabrera repeated Twitter’s rules that “prohibit inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others,” suggesting Yiannopoulos was responsible for other useres attacking Jones. According to Milo, his true crime in the eyes of Jack Dorsey was that he “did not like [Ghostbusters] and wrote a very critical review that [Jones] did not like… I teased Leslie Jones a little bit on Twitter. So sue me. People do that all the time – the reason they came for me was because I am Public Enemy Number One for Twitter and I have been for a very long time.”

Milo noted that on Twitter and on social media sites, “there is a particular political slant to all of this abuse and harassment. Twitter is used ideologically — much of it is used to criticise conservative and libertarian points of view.”

“You know what? We’re all in public life, we all get criticism, we all get death threats, we all get rape threats, we all get bomb threats but there is only one particular slide of the political divide that makes a fuss out of them,” he continued. “The left constantly whinges about them that turns them into a source of income… in this particular case the movie is not doing well and I suspect that Leslie Jones has been deployed on Twitter to play the victim.”

Twitter is, of course, a private enterprise with control over its platform, a point that Caruso-Cabrera was only too happy to fall back on. However, Milo agreed that Twitter is “entitled to do what it likes,” but he noted that the real problem is that “it is lying to its users.”

“Jack Dorsey says it is the free speech platform of the free speech wing of the free speech party. He wants it to be a utility like water, and that Twitter is a place for you to go when you want to express yourself — that is a lie,” he stated. “There is a systematic campaign against conservative and libertarian points of view on Twitter.”

“How do we know this? Not from the company’s own notoriously opaque statements, but from the fact that they apply their own rules so capriciously and inconsistently that there is only one possible explanation,” Yiannopoulos argued. “Twitter is perfectly happy to host ISIS, to host death threats against Donald Trump supporters and they do nothing about it… [but] you make a joke about feminists or you make a joke about the new Ghostbusters movie or you have the audacity to dislike the work of someone in Hollywood who happens to be black or happens to be a woman and then you get suspended.”

If Twitter changed its rules as the reporter then suggested, Milo highlighted that the real loser would be Twitter. “[If they] suddenly clamp down on all of the most fun and interesting people on its network, people are going to leave. They are very concerned with user growth, they’re very concerned with the amount of time people spend on this site and they’re very concerned with their users.” However, as Milo was quick to note, Twitter’s product “has always been terrible … the reason why they have problems acquiring new users is that nobody understands how it works. It is not intuitive like Facebook is.”

The interviewer returned to her first point, asking Milo if he will acknowledge just how “painful it can be when you’re on the receiving end” of abuse on Twitter. Milo’s reply was short and sweet:

“My view is if that you can’t stand the heat then you should get out of the kitchen.”

Jack Hadfield is a student at the University of Warwick and a regular contributor to Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @ToryBastard_ or email him jack@yiannopoulos.net.

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