Modern day social media is full of hate and hate preachers. At Resisting Hate we encounter racists, homophobes, Antisemites and Islamophobes every day. However it is rare we see an individual who demonstrates the full spectrum of prejudice on a single account and who manages to avoid censorship for his vile actions.
John DeVries runs an account on Twitter called JonteinSpain. He isn’t in Spain, he’s a small minded bigot from the West Midlands in the UK. But by pursuing an aggressive follow/follow back strategy on Twitter DeVries has amassed a following in excess of 133,000 individuals.
(He used to live in Bradford and posted his previous postcode. That will be handy for when Counter Terrorism want to trace him and knock on his door.)
Unsurprisingly DeVries is associated with right wing political party UKIP. Though he appears to be reconsidering his membership as it isn’t far right enough for him these days.
Unfortunately DeVries uses his follow base to radicalise the gullible into extremism. His tweets provide a regular diet of hate. His entire raison d’etre is to post as much venom as he can. That venom is then amplified with retweets from his followers and spread to a large number of people across the Twitter platform.
The question Resisting Hate are asking is just why this revolting man has not been suspended from Twitter. We are not the only ones asking the question. He received EVEVEN separate complaints yesterday with no action taken by Twitter (and RH know for a fact he receives a similar number of complaints every day as many of our members are actively reporting him)
Even DeVries seems surprised he is still standing:
The concern we have at Resisting Hate is two fold. We are concerned at the damage large Twitter accounts like that can do in terms of spreading hate and lies to a wide audience. But we are also concerned at the ineptitude of a social media platform who have promised time and time again that they will take direct action against extremists but who invariably fail to do so, leaving idiots like DeVries free to continue their online war against decency.
To illustrate exactly what we mean it is important to look at the actual content being posted. These are a selection of genuine tweets from the JonteinSpain account clearly showing the different prejudices. Every single one of these tweets is in breach of Twitter Terms of Service which states:
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Read more about our hateful conduct policy.
Hateful imagery and display names: You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category.
He manages to be both racist and homophobic in a single tweet here.
No attempt made to discuss the facts of Halal and Kosher slaughter. The term ‘excruciating agony’ is factually incorrect.
This tweet probably breaches ToS more than any of them. It is ridiculous that this tweet has not resulted in suspension of this account.
Promoting Hate Groups and Organisations
Celebrating far right fascist figures
He actually wants to see terrorist Anders Breivik released from prison.
Threats of Violence
This tweet is pure Nazi
Given that this tweet was posted post murder of MP Jo Cox it has to be taken seriously as a direct threat of terrorism.
DeVries claims those who report him have ‘not managed to show [he has] breached Twitter rules. In this article Resisting Hate have clearly illustrated a series of tweets, ALL OF WHICH break Twitter rules.
(And it isn’t a ‘game’ De Vries. These are real people you spend your time typing abuse at.)
It is our view that there is no place for this extremism on a public platform. Twitter need to enforce their own Terms of Service and kick this idiot off social media and back into the gutter where he belongs.
Roanna Carleton Taylor
Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of many of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK