When Twitter suspended multiple members of the Proud Boys for violating the site's policy on "violent extremist groups" last fall, Enrique Tarrio, the Miami-based chairman of the right-wing group, was among them. But since Twitter has no good way to stop suspended users from making new accounts, Tarrio was back on the platform in no time under a new name.
The fact that Tarrio had started a new account was pretty much an open secret. But it wasn't until Tuesday, days after he tweeted threats to report undocumented immigrants to federal agents, that Twitter suspended him again. The Proud Boys leader tells New Times he received an email explaining that he'd been removed for "evading suspension."
"Obviously, I've been suspended from Twitter before... I obviously knew that it was going to be short-lived," he says of the new account.
This past Sunday night, Tarrio, a 35-year-old Miami business owner and first-generation Cuban immigrant, tweeted that the Proud Boys would "name an illegal immigrant" and report him or her to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if any Proud Boy's personal information leaked online. Tarrio says members of his group have been fired from their jobs after being doxxed by Antifa, a left-wing group, on Twitter.
Tarrio says he burned the @HonoredChair account to get the attention of Twitter CEO Jack
"Don't think we're just going to go to Home Depot and go, 'Well, Pepe is trying to get a job.' We actually have a list of people that have committed crimes — sexual predators, people like that," Tarrio says. "We've established a database already, and we've been talking about this for months."
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He says he was trying to make a point about Twitter's suspension policy and enforcement. Tarrio cited a recent interview that podcaster Joe Rogan did with Dorsey, whom Tarrio believes has acted unfairly to the Proud Boys by misclassifying them as an extremist group. (The Daily Beast was the first to report on chat logs where Tarrio spoke positively about the Rogan interview.) According to Tarrio, Twitter has failed to take action against multiple Antifa accounts that have doxxed, threatened, or harassed Proud Boys.
"I'm trying to get the message out to Jack, like, this is going on on your platform. You deleted us because of a fake story but allow these people on your platform who are actually doing damage to people’s lives," Tarrio says. "We post memes, we hurt people's feelings, but we’re not hurting people in real life." (Members of the Proud Boys have been arrested for multiple violent acts. The organization has not been designated as extremist by the FBI, but the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies it as a hate group.)
Hours after being resuspended on Twitter, Tarrio started a new account, @AnewNoble. He tells New Times he has multiple accounts but says he doesn't consider Twitter necessary to his cause because the Proud Boys meet in person and are "not an Internet group."
"We just want to be left alone. That’s all we really want," he says. "You boot me off Twitter, fuck it. I don't need Twitter to live."