As Twitchy highlighted on Wednesday, a new hashtag is trending among conservatives and MAGA fans: #TwitterLockout. The complaint stems from what appears to be a sweeping purge of followers from many on the Right, which some of those impacted claim is yet another example of Twitter’s leftwing bias at work. But many on the Left have a different explanation: Twitter’s just cracking down on all of those “Russian bots.”
Social media platforms have come under increased pressure in recent days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for attempting to sow discord surrounding the 2016 election, in part via internet trolls who allegedly used social media to promote their agenda. Now, Twitter appears to be purging followers of right-leaning users. So is it a Russian purge or a conservative purge?
Those among the #TwitterLockout movement have made their opinion clear:
James O’Keefe also weighed in on the #TwitterLockout by reminding followers of his recent sting video:
Meanwhile, left-leaning, anti-MAGA users say it’s all about the bots, and are taking the opportunity to roundly mock the Right:
Others have a more measured take on the issue:
Mueller’s indictment alleges that Russian agitators were attempting to sow discord by playing both sides against each other, including initiating pro-Trump rallies when Hillary Clinton was the favorite as well as starting anti-Trump rallies after his upset victory. If Twitter purges all bots, then we can assume that some on the Left should see some drops in followers. So far, the Right appears to be the only side noticeably hit, or at least drawing attention to it.