Breitbart then went on the offensive, publishing multiple stories declaring that Leslie Jones and others should be the ones who are banned (note: calling someone "white" is not being racist). And the army of trolls that supports #FreeMilo has been lighting up the Twitter-sphere with threats of leaving the site, harassment of its advertisers, and claims that Twitter suppresses conservative views but gives terrorists and potential murderers a pass (which is not true -- the site has been actively removing accounts linked to terrorist organizations).
To be clear, this is not a fight about free speech. Social media companies are private companies, not countries, and they're allowed to have consciences -- you could say Twitter's decision is like eBay banning the sale of WWII paraphernalia that has a swastika on it. Twitter is fighting against hate speech, the kind the Alt-Right embraces , the kind that comprises the horrible harassment Jones endured. Twitter can't back down this time and let Milo sign up again, because that's exactly what he wants. He might say that being banned is the best thing that happened to him -- he's a martyr, apparently -- but if he's willing to ask the president for help with his account, it must be pretty important to him. And if Twitter's treating him as a test case, it would look pretty damn bad on their end to seem soft here.
What Yiannopoulos, his supporters and Twitter should actually do is heed Milo's own advice, and look to the values he ironically espoused himself back in 2012:
So perhaps what’s needed now is a bolder form of censure after all, because the internet is not a universal human right. If people cannot be trusted to treat one another with respect, dignity and consideration, perhaps they deserve to have their online freedoms curtailed. For sure, the best we could ever hope for is a smattering of unpopular show trials. But if the internet, ubiquitous as it now is, proves too dangerous in the hands of the psychologically fragile, perhaps access to it ought to be restricted. We ban drunks from driving because they’re a danger to others. Isn’t it time we did the same to trolls?