#BanMilo v #FreeMilo: Yiannopoulos Twitter ban splits internet

Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative columnist and internet personality ©  Drew Angerer
Supporters and critics of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, who was permanently booted off Twitter for his alleged role in whipping up a frenzy of hate towards Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, are going head to head online.

#FreeMilo and #PrayForMilo have been trending in support of the controversial writer while #BanMilo has been used to back the decision to axe him from the microblogging site.

On Monday, actress and comedian Jones received a slew of abusive, sexist and racist tweets, some of which were sent by followers of Yiannopoulos. He had written a controversial review of the new Ghostbusters film where he described her as “a black character worthy of a minstrel show” before becoming involved in a Twitter spat with the 48-year-old. 

Breitbart’s tech editor, who addressed the ‘Gays For Trump’ event at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, is no stranger to run-ins with Twitter.

READ MORE: Verify me: Breitbart journalist lobbies White House over lost Twitter checkmark

He lost his ‘blue tick’ status back in January for his role in the ‘Gamergate’ controversy and had his @Nero handle temporarily suspended last month over apparent anti-Islamic messages.

Yet many conservatives are outraged at what they see as the social network’s consistent bias against users of a right-wing standpoint.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hasn’t been spared their wrath either, with some questioning the wisdom of gagging such an outspoken gay commentator. Others are just annoyed at what they perceive as the company’s hypocrisy.

#BanMilo, on the other hand, has given voice to those who feel Yiannopoulos has gone too far and engaged in harassment.

Some were quick to point out that there can be hypocrisy amongst conservatives too.

Yiannopoulos vented his frustration at the ban in a statement, saying: “Twitter has confirmed itself as a safe space for Muslim terrorists and Black Lives Matter extremists, but a no-go zone for conservatives.”

He did, however, claim the move would merely result in “netting me more adoring fans” and took to both Facebook and Instagram to further his case.

So twitter decided to permanently ban me today. #FreeMilo

A photo posted by Milo Yiannopoulos (@milo.yiannopoulos) on