By Mary Margaret Olohan
Twitter is massively purging conservative accounts in the aftermath of the Capitol riot.
The social media website began cracking down on Twitter activity after rioters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol Wednesday, committing acts of vandalism and postponing the certification process as members of Congress were forced to evacuate the building.
Conservative Twitter users began to voice complaints that their accounts were losing large quantities of followers beginning Wednesday. By Friday evening, numerous large conservative Twitter accounts had posted saying they had lost several thousand followers.
“It’s clear that Twitter is wiping out conservative accounts,” Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh tweeted. “That’s why your follower counts are going down. This is the biggest purge we’ve seen, and not the last.”
Just to add to the chorus, I’ve lost about 5,000 followers. It’s clear that Twitter is wiping out conservative accounts. That’s why your follower counts are going down. This is the biggest purge we’ve seen, and not the last.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 8, 2021
.@jack and the tyrants on @Twitter have now stripped 5,000 followers from my page. I've been on twitter 12 years and only had 114k followers. On parler — been there a short amount of time and have 331k. FB 375k. Jack and his minions feel safe and free to attack now. Sick
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) January 8, 2021
“I’m not sure if this is due to mass-nuking of conservative accounts by Twitter, conservatives leaving the platform voluntarily in protest of the Trump ban, or some combination of both, but accounts with large conservative followers are seeing a massive plunge in follower counts,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald on Saturday morning.
Greenwald highlighted Twitter statistics from the Twitter accounts of the Daily Caller, the Federalist, Tucker Carlson, and Mollie Hemingway. The statistics he cited show that the Daily Caller was down almost 6,000 followers on Friday and down almost 29,000 on Saturday.
A Twitter spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation Friday that Twitter has been suspending accounts “in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity.”
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” Twitter told the DCNF.
Twitter declined to comment on how many accounts have been suspended, and the platform did not return a further request for comment Saturday morning regarding Greenwald’s observations.
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said, according to CNN. “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action.”
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