Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, is back on Twitter after owner Elon Musk reinstated his account on Sunday. Musk restored Ye’s Twitter account two weeks after it was locked for his antisemitic posts that went against Twitter’s hate speech policies.
Shortly after his account was unlocked, Ye tweeted to his 32.1 million followers, writing that he was testing to see if he could post again. Musk commented on Ye’s post, writing, “Don’t kill what ye hate, Save what ye love.” About five hours later, Ye tweeted “Shalom :),” a Hebrew word meaning “peace,” receiving positive and negative responses from other Twitter users.
Ye’s account was locked in October for the second time when he tweeted that he was going to sleep but would be “going death con 3 on Jewish people” when he woke up—an apparent reference to the U.S. military readiness condition scale called DEFCON. He added, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”
His tweets have since been removed and he was dropped by brand name sponsors including Adidas, Balenciaga, Foot Locker, JPMorgan Chase, Gap, and others, claiming he lost $2 billion in one day.
His account was first restored in October, nearly two years since he was originally suspended and prior to Musk taking ownership of Twitter. Musk said he was not involved in that decision in a tweet on October 28. He wrote, “Ye’s account was restored by Twitter before the acquisition. They did not consult with or inform me.” However, Musk did respond to Ye’s first tweet on October 7, writing, “Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!”
Within 24 hours of his returning to the platform, Ye’s account was locked indefinitely for “violating Twitter’s policies,” a spokesperson said at the time.
Twitter has historically had strict protocols in place against violence, terrorism, violent extremism, abuse and harassment, and hateful speech which included threatening individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender identity, and more.
After he was removed from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Parler’s parent company announced that Ye would be acquiring the company. For the uninitiated, Parler is a social media site typically used by far-right conservatives, and the company said in an October 18 press release that they expect the deal to be closed by the end of the fourth quarter.
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in the press release.
In the days leading up to Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter, Musk referred to himself a “free speech absolutist” and criticized the company for “failing to adhere to free speech principles,” adding the bans “fundamentally undermines democracy.”
Ye was among several other controversial figures whose accounts were reinstated over the last few days, including former President Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin, Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson, and the far-right satire account, The Babylon Bee. So far, Trump has yet to use the his former favorite platform.