Recently, the rapper announced he’d only be using Patreon rather than Twitter to interact with his fanbase, this doesn’t appear to have been a random decision. According to a Jezebel report, a spokesperson for the social media platform said Kweli had been suspended after “repeated violations.” If you’ve been glued to your laptop and phone screen during quarantine, you’ve noticed Kweli and Moody’s tweets.
“[Talib Kweli’s] account has been permanently suspended after repeated violations of the Twitter rules,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
Nearly a month ago, the exchanges between Moody, a student and activist, and Kweli began after a Twitter user shared a list of rappers alongside Talib that are married to Black women. Maya wrote: “Literally almost all of them are married to lightskinned women but that’s a conversation for another day.” Undoubtedly, this was a jab that drew attention to the issue of colorism within the Black community.
Kweli responded by tweeting: “Nah let’s have this convo today.” He added: “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?”
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of their exchange. What followed were weeks of Kweli directly tweeting Moody. It was quite uncomfortable to watch, yet he was adamant about not stopping until she apologized or deleted her account. Throughout the weeks of harassment, Moody was threatened, her family was also brought to task by Kweli’s fans. Instagram was even used as a method to call out Moody on behalf of Talib.
What stood out immediately during this online doxxing and targeted harassment of Moody was the fact that this wasn’t an isolated incident. For years, countless Black women with high following counts have experienced major security issues on Twitter. A Slate report from 2016 by Rachel Hampton breaks down the dangerous ramifications of online harassment directed at Black women stemming from the alt-right.
In a statement shared via email, Moody expressed in-depth what she experienced online: “Talib Kweli has been on a week-long harassment spree directed at me via Twitter and Instagram, which has led to his followers threatening to murder my family and I for this tweet.” After Maya exclusively emailed this, she posted the statement on Twitter.
“I have also been threatened with human trafficking, and they have been posting pictures of my parents online, who are all federal employees, along with their full names, where we live, and my stepmothers old job and salary…a paid employee of Kweli… provides [him] with the usernames of those he wants targeted and harassed … I am not the first or only victim of this behavior from Talib Kweli. He has harassed whoever has come to my aid, and his bots have attempted to leak IP addresses, stalk and harass other people’s families…He has made slanderous, derogatory videos about me, encouraging his bots and followers to persist.”
In Maya’s statement, she also wrote a bit about citing an article that referenced Kweli suing a blog for claiming that he raped a teenage girl. When reached via phone call Kweli said he was instead the victim of misinformation rather than Moody. He also denied that he was involved with the online harassment. His version of the incidents that took place for weeks on Twitter was that Moody had threatened him and his family. He was also incensed by Maya excusing him of being a child rapist, a claim he is adamant is untrue.
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