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Twitter has permanently suspended the “Proud Boys,” as well as the right-wing group’s ringleader, Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, on Friday, the company confirmed to TheWrap.
The suspensions were for violating Twitter’s policy against “violent extremist groups,” a Twitter representative told TheWrap. The “zero-tolerance policy” prohibits, among other things, accounts that “engaged in, or currently engage in, violence (and/or the promotion of violence) as a means to further their cause.”
About a dozen regional accounts associated with the organization were also suspended, according to BuzzFeed News, the first outlet to report the story.
The move comes as the “Unite the Right” rally is set to start in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Jason Kessler, the organizer of last year’s rally in Charlottesville, was booted as a member of the Proud Boys after the event turned violent.
McInnes founded the Proud Boys in 2016. On its website, the group calls itself a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world; aka Western Chauvinists.” The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
Twitter’s decision to suspended the Proud Boys and McInnes comes after the company decided to not suspended digital shock jock Alex Jones earlier in the week, bucking a trend set by its Silicon Valley neighbors Facebook and Apple.