The dark side of Twitter: top 10 famous bans

Twitter is known for being quite strict where it comes to users violating the Twitter Rules. Both temporary and permanent account suspensions are common on the platform, and usually with good reason.

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While it’s only to be expected that the likes of the American Nazi Party are banned from Twitter, there have been some suspensions over the years that might surprise you.

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1. PewDiePie

The legendary YouTuber PewDiePie has appeared on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that everything he says comes under serious public scrutiny.

In September 2016, his Twitter account was temporarily suspended for a joke he made about joining ISIS.

2. Milo Yiannopoulos

We can’t speculate as to your opinion of Milo Yiannopoulos, but we’re sure you have one. (And if you don’t, you will within seconds of looking him up.)

In 2016, Yiannopoulos received a temporary Twitter ban for his part in a racist harassment campaign, which was largely focused on the Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones.

3. Tila Tequila

Get ready for the weirdest entry on the list. Former porn actress and reality TV star Tila Tequila was banned from Twitter for her support of Adolf Hitler. And no, this is neither a joke nor a mistake on Twitter’s part.

In a very, very misguided attempt to create controversy around herself (we hope), she took to posting images of herself doing the infamous Nazi salute, alongside other incredibly offensive content. The Vietnamese actress referred to herself as an ‘Aryan Goddess’, and posted an image of herself in scarce clothing, with a swastika armband, an SS cap, and a gun – with Auschwitz in the background.

4. Rose McGowan

The actress’ temporary suspension was surrounded by a fair amount of confusion and controversy. The ban came at a time when McGowan was particularly outspoken about the misconduct of Harvey Weinstein, and soon after she told Ben Affleck to “f**k off” when he claimed he knew nothing of Weinstein’s crimes.

Twitter claimed that the ban was due to McGowan posting a phone number in a tweet, which is against the platform’s rules.

5. Courtney Love

The singer has been involved in her fair share of scandals and controversies. One of these came after the fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir sued Love for defamation – not without reason, given that Love had posted a highly offensive rant about Simorangkir on Twitter.

Twitter responded by permanently suspending Love’s account. This was the first-ever high-profile defamation trial over a celeb's comments on Twitter.

6. Adele

While Twitter itself never suspended Adele, the singer’s access to the platform had been restricted by… her managers.

Turns out, just like most of us, Adele enjoys a bit of a Twitter rant when she’s had a few drinks. In a move intended to prevent any unpleasant consequences of drunk-tweeting, Adele’s team stepped in and introduced a rule whereby they are to approve all of her tweets prior to posting.

The singer has been open about this restricted access to her own account, joking about it during her appearance on the Graham Norton show.

7. Clint Eastwood

…sort of. The suspension of @EastwoodUSA came soon after a pro-Trump tweet was posted on the account, prompting public outrage and allegations of Twitter subscribing to anti-Trump propaganda.

As a matter of fact, @EastwoodUSA was a fake account all along with someone impersonating the screen legend, and that’s why it was removed.

8. Luke Taylor

It’s good when a public platform like Twitter takes its anti-harassment policies seriously. But what happens when it gets a little… too serious?


Ask Luke Taylor – the internet personality who was permanently banned from Twitter after a sustained hate-campaign he carried out against Mr. Peanut, the Planters mascot.

9. Will Sloan

While the world aww-ed over The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda character, The Canadian writer and internet personality Will Sloan was not impressed. He took to Twitter to vent his frustration, stating “I actually hope he dies painfully”.

Believe it or not, this caused Twitter to suspend Sloan’s account for seven days, claiming he violated the rules against abuse and harassment. Go figure.

10. @putinRF_eng

This is more of a (dis) honourable mention: the user behind this account was impersonating… Vladimir Putin. The account was permanently suspended in November 2018 after a complaint from Russian officials, but not before the account gathered over 1 million followers.

Recently, Twitter changed its guidelines to ban all tweets propagating incorrect or misleading information regarding COVID-19. This move comes as part of an effort to prevent misinformation about the virus, and the ban includes all tweets that misrepresent expert guidance or encourage the use of dangerous or ineffective treatments.

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