Twitter suspensions

Twitter may suspend accounts, temporarily or permanently, from their social networking service. There have been concerted campaigns to shut down terrorist organizations and accounts that promote terrorist action, most notably those promoting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the mid-2010s. Suspensions of high-profile individuals from Twitter are unusual; they often attract media attention when they occur.[1]

PolicyEdit

Users who are permanently suspended from Twitter, based on alleged violations of Twitter's terms of service, are not told which of their tweets were the cause. They are told only that their accounts will not be restored, and they are told which of Twitter's rules the company claims were violated.[2] In addition to community guideline policy decisions, the Twitter DMCA-detection system and spam-detection system are sometimes manipulated or abused by groups of users attempting to force a user's suspension.[3]

In January 2019, Twitter formally provided information on instances where governments have attempted to utilize Twitter for "foreign information operations".[4]

Some commentators, such as technology entrepreneur Declan McCullagh and law professor Glenn Reynolds, have criticized Twitter's suspension and ban policies as overreaches of power.[5][6]

HistoryEdit

Between 2014 and 2016, Twitter suspension were frequently linked to ISIS/ISIL-related accounts. A "Twitter suspension campaign" began in earnest in 2015, and on one day, April 4, 2015, some 10,000 accounts were suspended.[7] Twitter repeatedly shut down accounts that spread ISIS material, but new ones popped up quickly and were advertised with their old Twitter handle; Twitter in return blocked those in what was called an ongoing game of Whac-A-Mole. By August 2014 Twitter had suspended a dozen official ISIS accounts,[8] and between September and December 2014 it suspended at least 1000 accounts promoting ISIS.[9] Twitter said that between mid-2015 and February 2016 it had suspended 125,000 accounts associated with ISIS and related organizations,[9] and by August 2016 had suspended some 360,000 accounts for being associated with terrorism (not all these were ISIS-related).[8]

In January 2016, Twitter was sued by the widow of a U.S. man killed in the 2015 Amman shooting attack, claiming that allowing ISIL to continually use the platform, including direct messages in particular,[10] constituted the provision of material support to a terrorist organization. Twitter disputed the claim.[11][12] The lawsuit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, upholding the Section 230 safe harbor, which dictates that the operators of an interactive computer service are not liable for the content published by its users.[12][13] The lawsuit was revised in August 2016, providing comparisons to other telecommunications devices.[10]

Twitter suspended multiple parody accounts that satirized Russian politics in May 2016, sparking protests and raising questions about where the company stands on freedom of speech.[14] Following public outcry, Twitter restored the accounts the next day without explaining why the accounts had been suspended.[15] The same day, Twitter, along with Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, jointly agreed to a European Union code of conduct obligating them to review "[the] majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech" posted on their services within 24 hours.[16] In August 2016, Twitter stated that it had banned 235,000 accounts over the past six months, bringing the overall number of suspended accounts to 360,000 accounts in the past year, for violating policies banning use of the platform to promote extremism.[17]

On May 10, 2019, Twitter announced that they suspended 166,513 accounts for promoting terrorism in the July–December 2018 period, stating there was a steady decrease in terrorist groups trying to use the platform owing to its "zero-tolerance policy enforcement". According to Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter, there was a reduction of 19% terror related tweets from the previous reporting period (January–June 2018).[18][19][20][21][22]

In September 2017, Twitter responded to calls[23] to suspend U.S. President Donald Trump's account, clarifying that they will not do so as they consider his tweets are "newsworthy".[24]

In October 2017, Twitter posted a calendar of upcoming changes related to enforcement. Among other things, Twitter promised to provide "a better experience for suspension appeals," including a detailed description to the user of how a suspended account violated the rules.[25]

In November 2017, Twitter gave a deadline of December 18 to comply with their new policy, adding: "You also may not affiliate with organizations that—whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform—use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes."[26] On December 18, the accounts of several high-profile organizations were suspended.[27]

IncidentsEdit

Rose McGowanEdit

In October 2017, actress Rose McGowan said that Twitter had suspended her account for 12 hours after she repeatedly tweeted about former film studio executive Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct toward her and others. Twitter explained that McGowan's account had violated its privacy policy because one of her tweets included a private phone number. According to The New York Times, "Many Twitter users expressed outrage over Ms. McGowan's account being locked". After the tweet was removed, her account was unlocked several hours before the 12-hour ban was set to expire. A Twitter representative stated, "We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future."[28][29] Later that day, software engineer Kelly Ellis, using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, urged women to shun Twitter for 24 hours, beginning at midnight, in solidarity with McGowan and with "all the victims of hate and harassment Twitter fails to support." Several activists, celebrities, and journalists joined the boycott.[30] Others criticized the level of organization and the fact that it was only 24 hours.[31]

2018 fake followers purgeEdit

On July 11, 2018, The New York Times newspaper reported that Twitter would start deleting fake follower accounts to increase the authenticity of the platform.[32][33]

The issue of fake follower accounts was highlighted in 2016 when trolls, and interference using both human-operated and bot accounts in the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, leveraged the reach of Twitter and initiated voter deception.[34][35]

Several celebrities and public figures lost substantial numbers of followers from their Twitter accounts before and after the purge(s).[36] These included Justin Bieber,[36][37] Ellen DeGeneres,[36][37] Jack Dorsey,[36][37] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,[36] Ari Fleischer,[36] Pope Francis,[36] Lady Gaga,[37] Ariana Grande,[36] Kathy Ireland,[36] Paul Kagame,[36] Ashton Kutcher,[36] The New York Times,[36] Shaquille O'Neal,[36] Barack Obama,[36][37] Katy Perry,[36][37] Queen Rania of Jordan,[36] Rihanna,[36][37] Cristiano Ronaldo,[37] Taylor Swift,[37] Donald Trump,[36][37] Twitter,[37] Variety magazine,[37] Kim Kardashian,[36] Oprah Winfrey,[36] and YouTube.[37]

U.S. president Donald Trump said that social networks such as Twitter were "totally discriminating" against Republican Party and conservative users.[38] Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey repeatedly clarified that the reduction in the followers count was part of the platform's efforts to cut down on spamming and bot accounts.[33][37] Dorsey's own account lost about 230,000 followers in the purge.[36]

On July 27, 2018, Twitter's stock went down by 20.5% (equivalent to $6 billion), with one market analyst stating that it may go down even lower.[34] The user base declined to 325 million, down from 326 million.[39]

List of notable suspensionsEdit

2011–2015Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
Courtney Love Musician and actress July 2011 Main account suspended Account suspended after Love filed a defamation suit against Twitter. Love now uses a new account.[40][41]
Anders Behring Breivik Far-right terrorist, perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks July 2011 Permanent
 [citation needed]
After Breivik was arrested, his account was hacked by Anonymous, but was not initially suspended.[42]
Guy Adams Journalist July 2012 Temporary Temporarily suspended for publishing the email address of an NBC executive during the 2012 Olympics; Twitter later apologized to Adams.[43]
Al Qassam Brigade Military wing of Hamas January 2014 Moved to new accounts Unknown.[44]
Phil Mason ("Thunderf00t") Atheist and anti-feminist vlogger September 2014 Temporary Use of abusive language towards Anita Sarkeesian.[45]
Godless Spellchecker Atheist blogger and podcaster January 2015 Temporary Repeatedly suspended for alleged targeted abuse or harassment.[46]
Chuck Johnson Alt-right blogger May 2015 Permanent Banned for an alleged violent threat against DeRay Mckesson.[47][48]
Jalbib Al-Jazrawi ISIL member July 2015 Permanent Making a death threat against Nasser Al Qasabi.[49]
George Zimmerman Known for shooting an unarmed African-American child December 2015 Permanent Posting tweets containing revenge porn.[50]

2016Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
Iyad El-Baghdadi Arab Spring activist January 2016 Temporary Mistaken for ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by Twitter staff.[51]
Robert Stacy McCain Anti-feminist writer February 2016 Permanent Participating in targeted abuse.[52]
Abu Obeida Hamas spokesperson April 2016 Moved to new accounts Unknown.[53]
Azealia Banks Rapper May 2016 Permanent Suspended after making racist and homophobic posts towards singer Zayn Malik.[54]
Milo Yiannopoulos British polemicist and political commentator July 2016 Permanent Banned for insulting Leslie Jones coinciding with a racist harassment campaign.[55][56][57]
Guccifer 2.0 Hacking group or individual August 2016 Temporary Posting information illegally hacked from the Democratic National Committee.[58]
PewDiePie YouTuber September 2016 Temporary Temporarily suspended for pretending to be a member of ISIL.[59]
Various "alt-right" accounts November 2016 Permanent Including accounts of National Policy Institute, Radix Journal, Ricky Vaughn, John Rivers, and others; banned for violating Twitter's policy prohibiting users from "inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others."[60][61]
Tila Tequila Social media personality November 2016 Permanent Making neo-Nazi posts, including a photo of herself and other attendees rendering a Nazi salute at an event of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.[62]
Jack Dorsey Twitter co-founder and CEO November 2016 Temporary After restoring his account, Dorsey tweeted the suspension was due to an "internal mistake".[63][64]
Richard Spencer Alt-right leader November - December 2016 Temporary Allegedly for using multiple overlapping accounts.[60][65]
John Rivello (@jew_goldstein) Maryland Trump supporter[66] December 2016 Permanent Sending an epileptogenic GIF to journalist with epilepsy Kurt Eichenwald.[67]

2017Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
Martin Shkreli Investor January 2017 Permanent Suspended for sexual harassment of journalist Lauren Duca.[68][69][70][71]
Craig R. Brittain Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Arizona, former operator of "revenge porn" website February 2017 Permanent Suspended after suggesting that the survivors of the Parkland, Florida Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, had been paid by gun control groups.[72] Brittain sued Twitter for banning his accounts.[73] The suit was dismissed as frivolous.[72]
Victoria Fierce Developer February 2017 Temporary Swearing at U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.[74]
Mocha Uson Entertainer and Rodrigo Duterte supporter March 2017 Temporary Unknown.[75][76]
Abhijeet Bhattacharya Singer May 2017 Temporary Harassing women including activist Shehla Rashid.[77]
Al Jazeera Arabic News service June 2017 Temporary Unknown.[78]
Daniel Sieradski American writer and activist[79] 8 June 2017 Permanent Unknown, Sieradski believes he was suspended for threatening violence against Baked Alaska, or for arguing with Courtney Love about Linda Sarsour.[80]
Anthony Cumia American radio personality and broadcaster 11 June 2017 Permanent Account permanently suspended for alleged harassment involving transsexual men's rights activist Katie Rife.[81] Since then, Cumia has activated several new accounts which were subsequently permanently suspended as well in 2018 and 2019.
Ken 'Popehat' White' Legal blogger August 2017 Temporary Posting personal information in screen shots of threats received.[82]
Joseph Cox Journalist for The Daily Beast August 2017 Temporary Targeted by bots after writing story about suspicious activity by pro-Kremlin bots.[83]
@nemuismywife Japanese man August 2017 Uses new account Account permanently suspended for making a death threat towards a dead mosquito. The man started a new account.[84][85]
Alex Boivin Twitter user August 2017 Temporary Suspended for sexual harassment of the cereal mascot Tony the Tiger.[86][87]
Elizabeth Johnston Christian blogger August 2017 Temporary Criticizing article of Teen Vogue which promoted anal sex amongst teenagers.[88]
@themoodforluv American woman September 2017 Permanent Harassment of Taylor Swift.[89]
Kamaal Rashid Khan Actor and film critic October 2017 Uses new account After the ban, Khan announced his intention to take legal action against Twitter; he later created a new account.[90][91]
Rose McGowan Activist and actress October 2017 Temporary Account temporarily suspended for posting a private phone number.[92][93]
Roger Stone Political consultant October 2017 Permanent Banned for harassment of CNN journalists.[94] Stone later threatened legal action against Twitter.[95]
Donald Trump U.S. President November 2017 Temporary Account briefly deactivated by a rogue Twitter employee on their last workday.[96]
"Jenna Abrams" Alt-right blogger November 2017 Permanent Unmasked as a fictitious person operated by a Russian troll factory.[97]
Robert Delaware American man November 2017 Temporary Mistaken for a Russian troll account.[98]
2,752 Russian troll accounts November 2017 Permanent Twitter's internal investigation linked the accounts to Russia's Internet Research Agency.[99]
Baked Alaska Alt-right activist November 2017 Permanent Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.[100]
Talib Kweli Musician November 2017 Temporary Account locked after posting business address of online harasser who posted threats and racist slurs; restored after he deleted the tweet. The account of the harasser, extremist attorney Jason Lee Van Dyke, was suspended.[101]
Pakistan Defence Forum Forum for discussing Pakistan's armed forces November 2017 Unknown Suspended for posting doctored photo and fake news.[102]
Wael Abbas Egyptian journalist, blogger, and human rights activist December 2017 Unknown Unknown.[103]
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen Leader and deputy leader of fascist group Britain First 18 December 2017 Permanent Contravention of new rule for against people 'that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes'.[104] The organisation had posted videos with false and misleading captions attributing violence to Muslims, which were re-tweeted by Donald Trump.[105]
American Nazi Party American Nazis 18 December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[104]
Jared Taylor and American Renaissance

Michael Hill and League of the South

Traditionalist Worker Party

American white nationalists 18 December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[104]
Nordic Resistance Movement Nordic white nationalists December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[106]
James Allsup Far-right political commentator December 2017 Unknown Unknown.[107]
Tyler Barriss (SWAuTistic) Suspect in deadly "SWATting" prank December 2017 Unknown Account suspended after Los Angeles police arrested Barriss as the suspected "swatter" who claimed responsibility for placing a fake 911 call that led an officer to kill an innocent man in Wichita, Kansas.[108]
@fuckeveryword Twitter bot 21 December 2017 Permanent Tweeting "fuck niggers"[109]

2018Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
David Clarke Former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin 2 January 2018 Temporary Temporarily suspended for three posts that appeared to encourage violence against the media, including one tweet stating "Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD." Suspension lifted after Clarke deleted the posts.[110][111]
Golden Dawn Greek ultranationalist party 5 January 2018 Permanent Broadening of hateful conduct policy on encompass incitement to violence.[112]
Paul Nehlen Congressional candidate challenging Speaker Paul Ryan in Republican primary 13 February 2018 Permanent Banned after posting racist tweet targeting Meghan Markle.[113]
Tommy Robinson British nationalist 28 March 2018 Permanent Hateful conduct.[114]
Owen Benjamin Comedian 5 April 2018 Permanent Offensive tweets directed at David Hogg.[115]
Sabo Street artist 13 April 2018 Permanent
 [citation needed]
Unknown.[116]
Mike Enoch White nationalist 16 April 2018 Unknown Hateful conduct.[117]
Bezalel Smotrich Israeli politician and Knesset member 23 April 2018 Temporary Suspended for 12 hours for "offensive behavior" after tweeting, regarding Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian serving an eight-month jail sentence for a videotaped assault of an Israeli soldier: "In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap."[118][119]
Splinter News and other users News site 20 June 2018 Temporary Linking to their story featuring and posting Stephen Miller's cell phone number.[120][121]
@EricHartleyFrnd Account used by Jarrod Ramos 28 June 2018 Permanent Jarrod Ramos was arrested after he shot and killed five employees at The Capital during the mass shooting.[122]
"Darren Mills" Russian-linked account 4 July 2018 Permanent Unmasked as a fictitious person operated by a Russian troll factory.[97]
70 million automated, troll, and fake accounts 6 July 2018 Permanent Part of a crackdown on malicious activity.[123][124]
Russian-linked accounts 14 July 2018 Permanent Connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of Twitter's rules.[125]
Candace Owens American conservative activist 5 August 2018 Temporary Banned in error after tweeting the content of several Sarah Jeong's controversial tweets about white people, and changing races and religions mentioned in the tweets.[126]
Peter van Buren Former United States Foreign Service employee and writer 5 August 2018 Permanent Banned for harassing Jonathan M. Katz in posts.[127][non-primary source needed]
Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys Neo-fascist organization and its founder 11 August 2018 Permanent Violating policy on "violent extremist groups."[128]
Talbert W. Swan II American prelate of the Church of God in Christ 22 August 2018 Permanent; later reinstated Hateful conduct.[129] Possibly for calling Candace Owens a "coon". Swan's account was reinstated on September 4, 2018, which he attributed to thousands of his followers calling for Twitter to lift the suspension.[130]
Alex Jones and InfoWars Conspiracy website and its founder 6 September 2018 Permanent[131] First suspended for a week on August 14 for violating policy on "inciting violence"[132] and later banned on September 6 for violating policy on "abusive behaviour".[133]
Kris Paronto Former U.S. Army Ranger 10 September 2018 Temporary Using the word retard and the hashtags #YouAreAnIdiot and #NeverGoFullRetard.[134]
James Woods Actor 20 September 2018 Temporary Posting hoax political meme on July 20, 2018, specifically a fake message, supposedly from Democrats, that urged men not to vote in the midterm elections). Woods received an email from Twitter stating that the tweet had "the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election." Woods refused to delete the tweet himself.[135] He was allowed to return in October 2018.[136]
@CongressEdits Twitter bot 3 October 2018 Permanent Automatically rebroadcasting Wikipedia edits that doxed members of Congress.[137]
Dozens of Occupy movement activists 11 October 2018 Permanent No explanation from Twitter.[138]
  • @InfowarsArmy
  • @InfowarsCrew
  • @InfowarsInsider
  • @InfowarsMag
  • @InfowarsPapers
  • @InfowarsReports
  • @InfowarsShop
  • @Infowars_EU
  • @PrisonPlanetTV
  • @RealInfoStore
  • @RealNewsX2
  • @TheNewsWars
  • @WarRoomMemes
  • @WarRoomShow
  • and 4 other accounts
Accounts affiliated with Alex Jones and InfoWars 22 October 2018 Permanent Permanently banned for ties with Alex Jones and InfoWars after "numerous violations and warnings."[139]
  • @hardrock2016
  • @hardrockintlet
Accounts used by Cesar Sayoc 26 October 2018 Permanent After the mail bombing attempts against Donald Trump critics and Democratic Party politicians, Sayoc's profiles were found to have posted far-right political conspiracy theories, graphic images and specific threats.[140]
Smash Racism D.C. Antifa group from Washington, D.C. 7 November 2018 Permanent Posting the home addresses of Tucker Carlson along with other family members following a protest outside Carlson's home.[141]
Meghan Murphy Journalist 15 November 2018 Permanent Banned for "hateful conduct" following a heated exchange which involved misgendering a transgender woman.[142]
Laura Loomer Political activist, conspiracy theorist, and Internet personality 22 November 2018 Permanent Hateful conduct, suspended for a tweet attacking Ilhan Omar by accusing her of being "pro-Sharia" and "pro-FGM".[143]
Jesse Kelly Conservative talk radio host and former Republican congressional candidate 25 November 2018 Permanent; later reinstated Unknown[144] Reinstated after media exposure, including an appearance with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.[145]
@putinRF_eng Imposter 26 November 2018 Permanent Impersonating Russian president Vladimir Putin after a complaint to Twitter from Russian officials.[146]
Amos Yee Blogger 10 December 2018 Permanent Permanently banned for supporting pedophilia.[147]
Andile Mngxitama Leader of the Black First Land First 17 December 2018 Temporary Banned for a minimum of seven days after Mngxitama made threats to kill 5 White South Africans for every taxi driver killed in response to comments made by businessman Johann Rupert.[148]

2019Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
Stephanie Sargnagel Austrian author and artist January 2019 Permanent; later reinstated Suspended for posting tweet that translates to: 'Austria, you stupid son of a bitch, i am going to kill you'.[149]
Jacob Wohl American conspiracy theorist, fraudster and hoaxer February 2019 Permanent Creating and operating fake accounts after boasting he intended to manipulate the 2020 United States presidential election results in a USA Today interview.[150]
Brenton Tarrant Perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings 15 March 2019 Permanent Posting pictures of the guns he later used in the attacks.[151]
James Woods Actor April 2019 Temporary Tweeting, "If you try to kill the King, you best not miss. #HangThemAll".[152][better source needed]
@TRobinsonMEP and @CarlUKIP UKIP accounts of Tommy Robinson and Carl Benjamin 26 April 2019 Permanent Violating Twitter's terms of service.[153]
Correo del Orinoco
Diario VEA
Pro-Maduro Venezuelan newspapers 1 May 2019 Unknown Unspecified; occurred during the 2019 Venezuela uprising.[154]
David Horowitz Conservative activist & author 7 May 2019 Temporary Unknown.[155]
Min Aung Hlaing Commander-in-Chief of Tatmadaw 16 May 2019 Permanent Spreading propaganda against Rohingya people.[156]
Nebojša Krstić Serbian pundit aligned with the Serbian Progressive Party 17 May 2019 Permanent Harassment of Vreme journalist Jovana Gligorijević.[157][158][159]
Chiitan Mascot of the town of Susaki, Japan 17 May 2019 Uses new account Unknown.[160]
Ed Krassenstein and Brian Krassenstein Resistance Twitter activists 23 May 2019 Permanent Operating fake accounts.[161]
Eoin Lenihan Researcher and Educator 29 May 2019 Permanent Banned from Twitter for abusing multiple accounts for abusive purposes.[162]
@TheTweetOfGod Account operated by David Javerbaum 11 June 2019 Temporary Tweeting, "If gay people are a mistake, they're a mistake I've made hundreds of millions of times, which proves I'm incompetent and shouldn't be relied upon for anything."[163]
Luke Taylor Internet troll 8 July 2019 Permanent Sustained harassment of the Planters snack food mascot, Mr. Peanut.[164][165]
Louis Farrakhan Leader of The Nation of Islam 9 July 2019 Unknown Banned for using language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.[166]
Lindsay Shepherd Free-speech activist 16 July 2019 Permanent; later reinstated Banned for "hateful conduct" following a heated exchange with a transgender woman and LGBTQ advocate from Vancouver.[167][168][169][170]
Patrick Wood Crusius and Connor Stephen Betts Perpetrators of the 2019 El Paso shooting and the 2019 Dayton shooting 4 August 2019 Permanent [171][172]
200,000 Chinese accounts 19 August 2019 Permanent Believed the accounts were part of a Chinese government influence campaign targeting the protest movement in Hong Kong.[173]
Pauline Hanson Australian senator and right-wing populist 22 August 2019 Temporary Suspended for "violating rules against abuse and harassment" by posting video advocating the use of violence against protesters[174]
Raúl Castro
Mariela Castro
Mesa Redonda
Granma Digital
Radio Rebelde
Cuban government-affiliated accounts 12 September 2019 Unknown Unspecified breach of rules[175]
DotDev.ae Operator of bot accounts in the United Arab Emirates 20 September 2019 Permanent Spreading information about Qatar and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[176]
Saud al-Qahtani Former media consultant to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman 20 September 2019 Permanent Banned for violating the company's "platform manipulation" policies.[176]
Quds News Network Palestinian media outlet 1 November 2019 Unknown Thought to be motivated by opposition to how Quds covered Hamas and Hezbollah.[177]
Several Hamas and Hezbollah–affiliated accounts 4 November 2019 Permanent Several accounts affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah permanently suspended after they are associated with "foreign terrorist organizations" and reviewed the accounts that are highlighted by representatives Josh Gottheimer, Tom Reed, Max Rose, and Brian Fitzpatrick.[178][179]
Will Sloan Canadian film critic and podcaster 21 November 2019 Temporary Suspended for tweets about the fictional character Baby Yoda.[180]
Danielle Stella Republican candidate potentially challenging U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar in 2020 election 27 November 2019 Permanent Repeated rule violations; one tweet read, "If it is proven @IlhanMN [Ilhan Omar] passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged".[181]
Pete Hegseth Fox News contributor 8 December 2019 Temporary Banned for posting an anti-American manifesto that was written from Mohammed Alshamrani, the Saudi Arabian military cadet who shot and killed three people and injured 12 when he opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6, 2019.[182]
88,000 Saudi-linked accounts 20 December 2019 Permanent State-backed information operations originating in Saudi Arabia that "violated platform manipulation policies".[183]

2020Edit

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason given for suspension
Dozen accounts associated with Venezuela's government and military 8 January 2020 Unknown Unspecified.[184]
Zero Hedge Libertarian, right-wing financial blog 31 January 2020 Temporary Publishing an article falsely accusing a Wuhan Institute of Virology doctor of releasing COVID-19 as a biological weapon and doxxing said doctor.[185] The account was reinstated in June 2020 with Twitter saying the suspension was in error.[186]
@BabyNutBaby
@BabyNutMemes
@BabyNutLOL
Meme accounts tied to Planters 3 February 2020 Permanent Astroturfing in support of the "Baby Nut" campaign. The main Mr. Peanut account was not suspended.[187]
70 pro–Michael Bloomberg accounts 21 February 2020 Permanent Posting identical messages, which Twitter said amounted to spam and "platform manipulation".[188]
Andrew Walz (@WalzRI) Fake Republican candidate account 28 February 2020 Permanent Tricking Twitter into blue check verifying a fake account of a Republican running for Congress in Rhode Island's 1st congressional district by a teenager.[189]
Jack Burkman Lobbyist and conspiracy theorist 19 March 2020 Permanent Tweeted unevidenced claims about impending nationwide food shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following repeated infractions of Twitter rules, including making false statements about COVID-19.[190]
Jaboukie Young-White American comedian 23 March 2020 Temporary Impersonating verified accounts such as CNN. Young-White's account was later restored, although it was stripped of its verified status.[191]
Metawin Opas-iamkajorn Thai actor 8 April 2020 Unknown Unspecified.[192][193]
Owen Shroyer (@allidoisowen)
Rob Dew (@DewsNewz)
Banned.Video (@BANNEDdotVIDEO)
InfoWars personalities 16 April 2020 Permanent Promoting violence in a Texas rally against the stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic and evading the permanent suspension of Alex Jones and InfoWars.[194][195]
Alex (@ALX) Turning Point USA ambassador 17 April 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy after sharing a meme of Xi Jinping generated by using Joe Biden's avatar generator from his website.[196] [197]
Candace Owens American conservative activist 2 May 2020 Temporary Banned after tweeting criticism of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order and encouraging the state's citizens to violate the directive.[198]
Joey Salads American conservative media personality 12 May 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy.[199]
@ANTIFA_US Fake Antifa account 2 June 2020 Permanent Calling for violence and engaging in platform manipulation and spam.[200]
170,000 Chinese, 1,000 Russian, and 7,340 Turkish accounts 11 June 2020 Permanent Found to be linked to propaganda and disinformation supportive of their respective governments.[201]
Katie Hopkins British columnist and far-right activist 19 June 2020 Permanent Temporarily in 30 January 2020 possibly due to a tweet she made about rapper Stormzy.[202] Permanently, for "violations of the hateful conduct policy" after she voiced opposition to a school program providing meals for hungry children.[203]
Logan Cook (Carpe Donktum) Pro-Trump meme account 23 June 2020 Permanent Account suspended for half an hour on 14 October 2019 for sharing an edited scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service depicting Trump murdering journalists, politicians, and news outlets.[204][205] Permanently banned for "repeated violations of this policy" after he created a fake CNN "racist toddlers" video of two toddlers, one black and one white, running toward each other and hugging, before running away together which Twitter added a "manipulated media" label on the video as racist. The video was taken down by Twitter following a copyright complaint made by the original content owner.[206]
Distributed Denial of Secrets Activist group 23 June 2020 Unknown Publishing BlueLeaks, 269 gigabytes of internal U.S. law enforcement data obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous, for 'dissemination of hacked materials' and 'information that could have put individuals at risk of real-world harm'.[207]
Graham Linehan Television writer 27 June 2020 Permanent Repeated acts of platform manipulation and hateful conduct towards transgender individuals.[208]
Stefan Molyneux Far-right activist and conspiracy theorist 7 July 2020 Permanent Hateful content.[209]
Over 50 accounts of white nationalist organizations from several countries 10 July 2020 Permanent "Violating [Twitter's] policies in relation to violent extremism."[210][211]
Various users 15 July 2020 Unknown Posting screenshots of Twitter internal control panels following the 2020 Twitter bitcoin scam.[212]
>150,000 QAnon-related accounts 21 July 2020 7,000 banned permanently, 150,000 limited Engaged in harassment and brigading of other users and misinformation.[213]
16 pro-Jair Bolsonaro accounts 24 July 2020 Permanent Removed on order of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil for allegedly promoting fake news including the accounts of Roberto Jefferson, Luciano Hang, Sara Winter, and others.[214]
Wiley Musician 25 July 2020 Permanent Antisemitic comments.[215]
Donald Trump Jr. Businessman, Eldest son of Donald Trump 28 July 2020 Temporary Blocked for twelve hours for spreading the claim that Hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19.[216]
David Duke White supremacist 30 July 2020 Permanent Temporarily suspended on August 2017 for association with the Unite the Right rally.[217] Permanently suspended on July 2020 for hateful content.[218][219]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Naylor, Daisy. "Famous People Who Have Been Banned From Twitter". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  2. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (22 July 2016). "Here's what it takes to get banned from Twitter". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  3. ^ Holt, Kris (12 June 2012). "Dirty digital politics: How users manipulate Twitter to silence foes". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  4. ^ Roth, Yoel (31 January 2019). "Empowering further research of potential information operations". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  5. ^ McCullagh, Declan (February 2019). "Deplatforming Is a Dangerous Game". Reason. Archived from the original on 2019-03-31.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Glenn Harlan (August 18, 2018). "When Digital Platforms Become Censors". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2019-03-30.
  7. ^ Szayna, Thomas S.; et al., eds. (2016). "Examining ISIS Support and Opposition Networks on Twitter". Considerations for Integrating Women Into Closed Occupations in U.S. Special Operations Forces. Rand Corporation. p. 30. ISBN 9780833092670.
  8. ^ a b Wakeford, Laura; Smith, Laura (2019). "Islamic State's Propaganda and Social Media: Dissemination, Support, and Resilience". In Baele, Stephane J.; Boyd, Katharine A.; Coan, Travis G. (eds.). ISIS Propaganda: A Full-Spectrum Extremist Message. Oxford University Press. pp. 155–87. ISBN 9780190932480.
  9. ^ a b Merrin, William (2018). Digital War: A Critical Introduction. Routledge. pp. 311–12. ISBN 9781317480402.
  10. ^ a b "Revived lawsuit says Twitter DMs are like handing ISIS a satellite phone". The Verge. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
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