Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced last week that he was stepping down from the position and that Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agrawal, would replace him.
Just days after the new CEO took control of the social media behemoth, thousands of conservative or conservative-leaning accounts were banned from the platform. Dozens of these accounts had hundreds of thousands of followers.
On December 6th, the first wave of account deletions began, with many of the accounts having at least some connection to the America First wing of Twitter. Media Right News, Vincent James, and potentially thousands of others were wiped off the platform.
Breitbart’s Alum Bokhari posited that the wave of bannings had something to do with a new Twitter algorithm put into place and that the account deletions may have had nothing to do with what the account posted, but instead with the accounts that they followed.
“New Twitter leadership appears to be purging right-wing anon accounts...”
“No pretext could ban all of these accounts at the same time. Some kind of new banning algorithm has been deployed, probably using network analysis to suppress an entire cluster at once,” Bokhari tweeted.
Following Parag Agrawal’s appointment as CEO, Twitter announced that it would be banning the sharing of images or videos of private individuals without their consent.
Doxxing is something Twitter never allowed, on paper, however it was always enforced in a very selective manner with a clear strong bias against conservatives. The new policy goes much further and implies there will be another purge of content coming soon on the site.
In the announcement, Twitter said that these policies were harmful to minorities and women and implied that they would be enforced more strictly than they have in the past.
“Under our existing policy, publishing other people’s private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is already not allowed on Twitter. This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.“
“There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals. Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy and may lead to emotional or physical harm. The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities.”
Following the new policy announcement and presumably the implementation, Twitter blacklisted an account posting courtroom updates for the Ghislaine Maxwell trial. Maxwell was a key associate of Jeffrey Epstein, who is also accused of sex trafficking minors.
The account was popular on the platform and had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers before being taken down.
The deletion of the Maxwell Trial Tracker came right before newly obtained documents showed that Epstein had visited the Clinton White House 17 times, including twice in one day on three separate occasions. According to the text of the documents, Epstein specifically visited the West Wing, presumably to meet directly with President Clinton at the time.
Another Twitter account that was monitoring the investment portfolio of house speaker Nancy Pelosi following reports of insider trading allegations was also taken down.
Despite working on a congressional salary of $193,400, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s net worth is valued at over $100 million. Much of that money likely comes from the Pelosi family investments.
In 2014, Paul Pelosi invested in the now-bankrupt SunEdison just weeks before its lucrative expansion. Pelosi sold his shares in the company just before the firm went belly-up.
Since then, Pelosi has made dozens of other very timely investments such as his risky gamble on Google-parent Alphabet, which made him over $5 million dollars. As with so many of his trades before, the bet was perfect timing. Pelosi exercised a call option which allowed him to buy at $1,200 a share before the shares closed that day just over $2,500. The difference accounted for his entire profit.
The Maxwell trial account which was banned had over 500,000 followers prior to the takedown, while the account covering Pelosi’s investments had over 200,000.
Unsurprisingly, many of those who were banned from Twitter did decide to seek alternatives, most notably on the Gab platform.
CEO and founder of Gab, Andrew Torba, tweeted that the site was getting “thousands of new sign-ups per hour” after the wave of account deletions and that “When Twitter purges, Gab surges.”
Torba warned that people should focus on building followings on alternative platforms because he says “We can’t afford what happened today to happen again during an election season.”