Silencing hate speech from provocateurs of the alt-right is something like playing whac-a-mole.
Milo Yiannopoulos, the tech editor at Breitbart news—who claims he doesn’t actually subscribe to the white nationalist beliefs espoused by the alt-right, but is an alt-right hero nonetheless—told the Hollywood Reporter that he has signed a book deal with Threshold Editions, a Simon & Schuster imprint created 10 years ago to publish works by conservative authors.
A representative of the imprint confirms it will release Dangerous by Yiannopoulos on March 14, 2017. It’s being promoted as “a book on free speech by the outspoken and controversial gay British writer and editor at Breitbart News who describes himself as ‘the most fabulous supervillain on the internet.'”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Yiannopoulous received a $250,000 advance.
Many Americans had hoped they would hear less from Yiannopoulous, not more, following Twitter ‘s decision to ban the pundit from its platform earlier this fall. The ban was in response to one of Yiannopoulos’s super-evil internet moves that made him famous well outside the conservative circles where he was already a polarizing figure. After the release of this year’s Ghostbusters movie reboot, starring an all-female cast, Yiannopoulos took to Twitter to slam actress and comedian Leslie Jones’s performance. That appeared to inspire his followers to troll Jones with exceptionally vicious sexist and racist comments. Twitter permanently closed Yiannopoulos’s account, deciding that he had violated the site’s conduct policies. The writer called Twitter’s action a strike against free speech.
In discussing his new book deal, Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter, “They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened.” He also compared his plight to Madonna’s controversies in the 1990s, and Donald Trump’s election victory, both examples of public figures triumphing over the negative press that surrounded them.
In November, Slate published an interview with a former Breitbart editor, Ben Shapiro, who shared telling accounts of his own experience with Yiannopoulos, with whom he would publicly spar on social media. Said Shapiro:
“…I don’t favor bans on Twitter generally. Twitter’s a private company, and it can do what it wants, but I don’t like people getting banned on Twitter unless there’s active harassment. I think it’s dangerous territory. But I can say this: When Milo was thrown off of Twitter, 70 percent of the anti-Semitism in my feed disappeared immediately.”