Conservatives say they’ve lost thousands of followers on Twitter
Conservative Twitter users are speaking out about a loss in followers after Twitter reportedly suspended thousands of accounts.
Twitter has yet to announce the purge, but there is speculation that the action was part of the social media giant’s effort to get rid of suspected Russian bots.
Conservatives say they have been targeted in the purge, Gizmodo reported.
#TwitterLockOut I lost 2K followers last night- 1st and 2nd amendment in jeopardy! Follow @GrrrGraphics and let’s stay connected also @grrrgraphics on @getongab and #Steemit.com https://t.co/Oj98iIxEAZ pic.twitter.com/Ya7oOA9ZJ3
— BenGarrison Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) February 21, 2018
The twitter purge is real. You may have to refollow me after last night if you’re interested in my content. Twitter blocked me from twitter ads last night and purged thousands of followers. Spread the word. #TwitterLockOut @TwitterSupport @jack @twitter
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 21, 2018
Hello @jack a lot of people are asking about #TwitterLockOut could the company please provide the criteria for erasing followers while folks sleep. I know there is a lot of pressure to be more responsible in curbing certain actions but that shouldn’t extend to muting opinions
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) February 21, 2018
Some users are also claiming they were locked out of their accounts.
By Wednesday morning, the hashtag “#TwitterLockOut” was trending on Twitter.
“Twitter’s tools are apolitical, and we enforce our rules without political bias,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill in a statement.
“As part of our ongoing work in safety, we identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse. We also take action on any accounts we find that violate our terms of service, including asking account owners to confirm a phone number so we can confirm a human is behind it. That’s why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks,” the spokesperson continued.
“This is part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to make Twitter safer and healthier for everyone.”
The move comes just a few days after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three companies with interfering in the 2016 elections. The Russian operatives allegedly relied on social media to spread divisive messages and even organized events that thousands of Americans attended.
The Russians created fake social media accounts, including on Facebook and Twitter, to appeal to political, religious and ethnic groups, according to the indictment. Some accounts also impersonated real Americans.
Twitter and Facebook have been heavily criticized for their role in allowing Russian meddling.
Last month, Twitter told Congress that Russian bots retweeted President Trump nearly 500,000 times during the months before the election. The bots retweeted Hillary Clinton less than 50,000 times in the same period.
This story was updated at 3:48 p.m.