Verify me: Breitbart journalist lobbies White House over lost Twitter checkmark
The outspoken conservative who has built quite a reputation for posting trolling tweets has more than 175,000 followers on Twitter.
Yiannopoulos became particularly well known for his involvement in the Gamergate controversy where the #gamergate tag was used to drive a harassment campaign against women in the videogame industry.
He lost his verification badge in January after he violated Twitter rules, according to the company, who didn’t reveal the details of the offense. However, it has been speculated that the decision could be linked to this tweet.
You deserve to be harassed you social justice loser https://t.co/iUmMwMVVAT— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) December 20, 2015
Yiannopoulos said he sees the removal of the blue tick as an attack on freedom of speech and claims it is part of a wider campaign to censor conservative views online.
He waylaid a press briefing at the White House Friday to highlight his woes over the lost verification tag and share his personal story with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
“It’s becoming very clear that Twitter and Facebook in particular are censoring and punishing conservative and libertarian points of view. Is there anything the president can do to encourage Silicon Valley to remind them of the critical importance of open free speech in our society?” Yiannopoulos asked.
“My verification check was taken away for making fun of the wrong group of people. Conservative commentators and journalists are being punished, being suspended, having their tweets deleted by Twitter. Facebook is removing criticism of immigration in Europe,” he added in a follow-up comment.
Earnest reminded Yiannopoulos that individuals have the avenue of the courts if they feel private corporations were infringing on their constitutional rights: “There is a third branch of government which is our courts...so if there are private citizens who feel they’re constitutional rights are being violated in some way that they do have an opportunity to address that before a judge and a court of law.”
Yiannopoulos was unapologetic about championing his personal cause at the White House briefing and addressed Twitter users who criticized him for not raising bigger issues.
You want to ask a different question? Get a decent job in media and ask your own. https://t.co/DKea0jmg2p— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) March 5, 2016
All these serious mfs asking the White House about North Korea & I'm like BITCH WHERE MY CHECK MARK— Milo Yiannopoulos ✘ (@Nero) March 5, 2016