A British contrarian blogger and actual full-grown baby put up a stink about his personal Twitter account at the White House on Friday, showing us all that even misogynistic, fame-thirsty opportunists have feelings, too.
Milo Yiannopolous, a Gamergate antagonist, Breitbart columnist and longtime troll, showed up at a White House press briefing hell-bent on getting an answer from press secretary Josh Earnest. The demand? Make Twitter pay for pilfering his precious blue checkmark.
Yiannopolous’ Twitter verification was removed last January, after Twitter said he’d violated their rules. It’s not clear what exactly triggered the move, but it could have been when he told another user, “You deserve to be harassed.”
For most people, the loss of a Twitter badge would be a moment to take stock about the meaningful things in life, to ask oneself, “Why do I care about this little inconsequential checkmark so much?” For Yiannopolous, it’s impetus to make a heart-wrenching appeal about the nature of free speech, and Twitter, and when he will get his badge back:
“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?....You obviously can’t enforce the First Amendment on private corporations. But there seems to be a very clear trend 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.”
Yiannopolous also blogged about the incident at Breitbart, lamenting the “ever-dismaying bulwark against left-wing efforts to curb free speech.”
Unfortunately for all users of the internet, the checkmark is gone for good, but his account is not. For now, we must all endure the ravenous, attention-seeking garbage it spews forth.