Elon Musk’s X took two days to remove account where Laura Carleton’s killer spewed anti-LGBT+ hate

Elon Musk’s rebranded social media platform X took two days to suspend the account of a gunman identified by authorities as Laura Carleton’s killer.

Travis Ikeguchi, 27, posted hate-filled screeds about the LGBTQ+ community and threatened law enforcement officers on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

On 18 August, Ikeguchi fatally shot Carleton, 66, after yelling homophobic slurs about a Pride flag hanging outside her Mag.Pi fashion store in Glen Cedar, California.

He was identified as the killer by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office on 21 August, when a spokesperson said a review of his social media accounts on X and Gab showed extremist anti-LGBTQ+ views and intense hatred for law enforcement.

Ikeguchi had pinned an image of a burning Pride flag to the top of his X account.

After numerous users reported him for violating the platform’s safety standards, X finally suspended his account on Wednesday (23 August).

CNN reported that the account was suspended 30 minutes after it contacted the platform seeking comment.

After Mr Musk purchased the platform last year, he fired roughly 80 per cent of its employees including most of its content moderators and compliance team. Under previous management, accounts associated with violent incidents were typically suspended straight away.

Laura Carleton was killed by gunman Travis Ikeguchi outside her store (Mountain Provisions Cooperative)
Laura Carleton was killed by gunman Travis Ikeguchi outside her store (Mountain Provisions Cooperative)

On X, Ikeguchi posted anti-semitic statements, followed and boosted rightwing personalities Jordan Peterson and Matt Walsh, and expressed support for anti-vaxx presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Independent.

Carleton, a fierce LGBTQ+ ally and mother of nine, had faced repeated threats for displaying a Pride flag from her clothing store, family say.

The Lauri Carleton Memorial Fund has been set up to support community projects she was involved in in the Lake Arrowhead area.