A controversial Utah social-media figure apparently is waiting to be bumped off Twitter — just as several members of the so-called “alt-right” were Monday, as the site implements new rules it says are intended to crack down on violent and abusive content.
The Utah woman named Ayla Stewart, who appears on Twitter and other social-media platforms as “Wife With a Purpose,” continued to tweet Monday about “white Western heritage and God’s love for all His people,” as her Twitter bio puts it. Among those posts were retweets listing white nationalist and other “alt-right” figures purged Monday from Twitter.
Stewart, contacted by The Salt Lake Tribune via a Twitter direct message, declined to comment, saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t give mainstream press interviews.”
On her blog and her various social-media platforms, Stewart serves up a mix of family observations, recipes, home-schooling tips and commentary on news events. Last month, she commented on Twitter’s proposed rules, predicting dire consequences.
“My Twitter days are numbered, not because of anything I’ve actually said or anything I actually believe but because other people think I’m hiding some secret Nazi agenda that I’m ‘sanitizing.’ Do you grasp the insanity of this?” Stewart wrote Nov. 18. “The anti white, anti traditionalism elites have no idea how much their modern day witch hunt is going to back fire. They’ve created a generation, Gen Z, that make my values look liberal. These kids are sick of this nonsense and they are not as polite as I am about it.”
Stewart has long been identified as Mormon, though she uses the word “Christian” prominently on her platforms now. The last mention of anything specifically Mormon was a Sept. 5 post in which she reprinted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ landmark document “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”
In an article in BuzzFeed last March, reporter Jim Dalrymple II wrote that “much of Stewart’s content fuses Mormon concepts with alt-right themes. On Twitter, she retweets David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, and uses the #whiteculture hashtag. … She cites Mormon scripture as evidence that races should be separate, recently issued a ‘white baby challenge’ and has argued that long-dead Mormon leader Brigham Young ‘predicted Cultural Marxism.’”
As a prelude to being suspended, perhaps, Twitter recently removed the “verified” badge — the coveted blue checkmark symbol — from Stewart’s “Wife With a Purpose” feed. The notification of that removal now is displayed as her feed’s cover image.
Twitter’s new rules, according to The Associated Press, target “logos, symbols or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin.” There is no list of banned symbols or images, and Twitter will review complaints individually to consider the post or profile’s context.
One group Twitter suspended, according to The Daily Beast, is the far-right United Kingdom political group Britain First, along with affiliates Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. It was Fransen’s anti-Muslim viral videos that President Donald Trump retweeted in late November, prompting condemnation from British Prime Minister Theresa May.