Armed Right-Wing Group Oath Keepers Banned From Twitter For Violating Extremism Policy

BERKELEY, USA - APRIL 27, 2017: An Oath Keeper, brought on to provide security, stands guard during a pro-Donald Trump rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, California on April 27, 2017. The ... BERKELEY, USA - APRIL 27, 2017: An Oath Keeper, brought on to provide security, stands guard during a pro-Donald Trump rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in Berkeley, California on April 27, 2017. The rally was held in protest of the cancellation of a planned talk by Ann Coulter on the campus of the University of California Berkeley, amid security concerns. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Twitter has banned the armed right-wing group Oath Keepers and its founder Stewart Rhodes for violating the website’s policy on violent extremist groups.

NBC News first reported the ban, followed by Engadget. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the news to TPM in an email.

Rhodes recently used the Oath Keepers Twitter account to announce that “Civil war is here, right now” and “The first shot has been fired” after a right-wing demonstrator was killed during a clash in Portland. (The man suspected of shooting the demonstrator was himself killed by law enforcement a few days later.)

The group, which first made waves during the 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri for their armed patrols from rooftops, claims thousands of members, many with law enforcement or military backgrounds.

Last year, Rhodes got a tour of the site of a GoFundMe-powered, privately constructed border wall outside of El Paso, Texas. The leadership of the project, We Build The Wall, now faces federal charges for conspiracy to commit fraud. A few months prior, Rhodes and other Oath Keepers claimed to have gotten access to the VIP section at a Trump rally in El Paso.

While Oath Keepers have long predicted various kind of civil unrest or armed conflict — and used the claims as recruiting tools — the recent declaration that a civil war had in fact begun was new territory, Sam Jackson, an assistant professor at the University of Albany and author of a new book about the group, told TPM.

“They’ve identified the start of a civil war over and over again,” Jackson said. “What’s different now is they’re pointing to a particular act of violence from the people that they’ve identified as the other side — the enemy combatants in the civil war.”

A request for comment to the group was not immediately returned Thursday. But last month Rhodes called the removal of Oath Keepers groups from Facebook “an ideological and political purge.”

“Oath Keepers does not engage in unlawful activities or advocate or incite violence. Quite the contrary,” he wrote. “We stand for law and order under the Constitution and defend people against unlawful violence. And that’s exactly why we are being purged.”

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Yeah well, that sucks for those assholes.

  2. Avatar for noonm noonm says:

    The latter statement is not supported by the former.

  3. So the Oath Keepers are basically a gang of thugs itching for a fight, like a drunk in a bar with poor impulse control. Now they’e like the drunk who picked out a guy he wants to punch.

    Kick them out.

    And where’s law enforcement to pick up these bums and toss them in the cooler to sleep it off?

  4. Giving them bottled water and a thumbs up?

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

35 more replies

Participants

Avatar for dr_coyote Avatar for lochsabill Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for clemmers Avatar for grokenstein Avatar for oscarhomolka Avatar for rollinnolan Avatar for teenlaqueefa Avatar for randyabraham Avatar for arrendis Avatar for sparrowhawk Avatar for drriddle Avatar for joelopines Avatar for donnyyoung Avatar for ignoreland Avatar for commanderogg Avatar for tena Avatar for noonm Avatar for maximus Avatar for shinks Avatar for occamscoin Avatar for rascal_crone Avatar for filmknight Avatar for LeeHarveyGriswold

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: