In an Instagram post on July 23, veteran rapper Talib Kweli announced he was leaving Twitter and focusing on Patreon, where had he recently announced plans to fund a new solo album. The move made some kind of sense because Kweli’s existence on Twitter was defined by hostile debate — to follow him was to witness him in seemingly constant conflict. “Now most of my exchanges will always be with real fans who invest in me,” Kweli wrote. “I spent 11 years [on Twitter], all great times.. I exposed a lot of bigots and trolls and made a lot of wonderful friends.” However, it turns out Kweli did not leave the platform voluntarily. A representative from Twitter told Jezebel he was permanently suspended on July 23 for “repeated violations of Twitter rules.”
Twitter’s full statement:
[Talib Kweli’s] account has been permanently suspended after repeated violations of the Twitter rules. Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. Violence, harassment and other similar types of behavior discourage people from expressing themselves, and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.
In the two weeks leading up to Kweli’s suspension, he had been posting continuously about a 24-year-old student and activist named Maya Moody. Their interactions began on July 10, when Kweli responded to Moody’s comments about Black rappers marrying light-skinned women. The previous day, in response to another user’s list of rappers married to Black women, which included Kweli’s name, Moody had tweeted, “Literally almost all of them are married to lightskinned women but that’s a conversation for another day.” In a quote-tweet, Kweli responded, “Nah let’s have this convo today. Are we talking all of my relationships? My children’s mother as well? Or are you only talking about who you think I’m currently in a relationship right now? I mean, is any of this really any of your business?”
Kweli than began digging up Moody’s old tweets attempting to discredit her and prove her stance on colorism in rap was hypocritical. He continued attacking her for days, including basically nonstop for 12 hours one day, and at one point accused her of aligning with white supremacists and Nazis. Her also made her the subject of an hour-long Instagram Live webcast. During this time, other Twitter users doxxed Moody and her family and threatened to murder her or kidnap her into human trafficking. “It’s definitely been draining and overwhelming,” Moody told Jezebel’s Ashley Reese last week. “Yesterday alone, I had to get 12 different accounts suspended for trying to make new profiles doxing my family and me using my stepmom’s name and pictures and where we live… basically pretending to be my stepmom on Twitter.” He vowed not to give up until she apologized or deleted her account.
In an email to Jezebel, Kweli responded, “Maya Moody is a liar. I’ve never cyber harassed anyone in my life. I responded, on Twitter, to the lies that Maya posted about me. When you respond to someone who posts lies about you, that is not harassment.”