Twitter has banned the accounts of far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers and its founder, Stewart Rhodes. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group is one of the US’s largest anti-government movements.
It claims to have tens of thousands of members, many of whom identify as former law enforcement and military. The group recently tweeted there would be “open warfare against the Marxist insurrectionists (its shorthand for Black Lives Matter activists) by election night.”
A spokesperson for Twitter told Engadget it banned accounts associated with the Oath Keepers for violating its policies on violent extremist groups. “There is no place on Twitter for terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups and individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities,” the company says on the policy page.
In 2015, the Liberty Counsel waved off the “Christian Patriot” Oath Keepers when they offered to prevent Kentucky police from re-arresting Kim Davis. In 2017, founder Stewart Rhodes declared that the US would have erupted into a civil war if Hillary Clinton had been elected. In 2019, Rhodes and other militia members were seated directly behind Trump at a rally in El Paso. The Oath Keepers have been involved in multiple violent incidents involving police protests across the country.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 10, 2020
The officer’s patch referenced the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, two groups our report described as “far-right militant groups” that have successfully infiltrated law enforcement. https://t.co/2h7jwECQcA
— Brennan Center (@BrennanCenter) September 5, 2020
Rep. Clay Higgins has spoken at Oath Keepers events and appeared with other militia groups before. But when a rumor of a Black militia protesting police brutality surfaced, he threatened to “drop any 10 of you where you stand” https://t.co/QnHTfuHi6K w/ @mimms pic.twitter.com/9M25v1VmBf
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) September 2, 2020
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) September 10, 2020
— NOT SO SPECIAL FEATURES (@TheMacNaughton) September 10, 2020
2020: Twitter bans the Oath Keepers “patriot” group.
— Person Woman Man Camera TV (@ClaraJeffery) September 10, 2020