Anyone who has been on Twitter the past couple days has noticed scores of conservative voices commenting on how many followers they have lost. This reporter has herself lost at least 3,000 followers since Wednesday, yet others with bigger accounts have lost far more.
Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell has lost nearly 100,000 followers in the past few days, for example. Actor James Woods lost 15,000 followers in a day, while actress Kirstie Alley lost 9,000 followers.
In addition to cutting followers, Twitter has suspended several right-leaning influencers besides President Donald Trump. As RedState reported, Trump’s campaign account was suspended, along with Salem Media’s Kevin McCullough, and Tracy Beanz. The account Techno Fog, which published a lot of court documents relating to the Russian-collusion hoax, was also suspended, despite not publishing anything relating to election fraud or the protests that led to a riot at the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.
“It’s getting bad and it’s obvious they’re cutting media influence of folks on the right to cut any question/dissent from the Democratic narrative. They’re trying to consolidate power now while they have the excuse of the Capitol protests to buttress the fascistic effort,” RedState’s Nick Arama wrote.
In a statement to The Washington Examiner, a Twitter spokesperson said this kind of purge was routine.
“As part of our work to protect the integrity of the conversation on Twitter, we regularly challenge accounts to confirm account details such as email and phone number,” the statement said. “Until the accounts confirm additional account information, they are in a locked state and do not count towards follower counts.”
If true, it means some of the followers should come back once they confirm those details, but it should be noted that left-wing accounts are gaining followers at about the same pace that right-leaning accounts are losing. If this were simply a routine confirmation issue, it doesn’t make sense that left-leaning accounts aren’t losing followers as well.
The purge comes after Big Tech began its crackdown on Trump and his supporters. Twitter permanently banned Trump from its platform on Friday, claiming that Trump’s tweets about his supporters continuing to be heard and not attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration – neither of which included calls to violence of any kind – somehow violated Twitter’s guidelines on inciting or glorifying violence. Here’s what Twitter wrote about its banning of Trump:
On January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump tweeted:
“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Shortly thereafter, the President tweeted:
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, these two Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks. After assessing the language in these Tweets against our Glorification of Violence policy, we have determined that these Tweets are in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy and the user @realDonaldTrump should be immediately permanently suspended from the service.
Facebook also banned Trump from posting during the remainder of his term in office, and Snapchat banned him as well. YouTube suspended Trump’s account, and Google took the next step of removing alternate social media website Parler from its store, with Apple threatening to do the same.
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