The purchase of Twitter for $44 billion by Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk announced Monday caused a huge ripple across media and social media. And almost immediately, Pundits and news hosts on conservative media, politicians and candidates announced their suspended accounts were restored, or if not suspended, tens of thousands of followers reappeared.
One of the first was Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose Twitter account was suspended in March after the social media company said he violated its fluid rules by referring to Biden Administration Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, as a man rather than a transgender woman.
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 25, 2022
Carlson’s “We’re back” Tweet earned him 375,000 “likes,” 41,000 “retweets,” and 20,000 “replies.”
Chanel Rion with One American News Tweeted out the analytics of her Twitter account:
“At one point I was growing 100k/month. Each post would get thousands of responses in minutes. Biden’s inauguration: Lost ~200k followers in a week – impressions cut 70%. Something clearly happened last night – not full stride but we’re #inthegreen“
At one point I was growing 100k/month. Each post would get thousands of responses in minutes.
Biden's inauguration: Lost ~200k followers in a week – impressions cut 70%.
— Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) April 27, 2022
The list of those claiming shadow banning on Twitter is long.
Radio talk hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, who took over the Rush Limbaugh Show following Rush’s death, also reported they each have regained tens of thousands of Twitter followers just since Musk’s Twitter purchase was announced Monday. Clay Travis Tweeted:
“I’ve added 20k Twitter followers in the 48 hours since Elon Musk bought Twitter. Probably a coincidence:
I’ve added 20k Twitter followers in the 48 hours since Elon Musk bought Twitter. Probably a coincidence. Plus, does Biden have the constitutional authority to unilaterally take on $1.6 trillion in student loan debt? I don’t believe so: pic.twitter.com/mPT8OSZFsW
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 27, 2022
Remember when Twitter, one of the biggest social media companies in the world, spent years shadow banning conservatives and gaslit everyone by pretending they didn’t?
Crazy world back then, a few days ago
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) April 27, 2022
Perhaps one of the biggest Twitter accounts, Donald Trump Jr., reported he gained 87,000 followers since Monday.
“While I’m awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account. Wonder if they’re burning the evidence before new mgmt comes in?”
Seems Shadow Banning is yet another “right-wing conspiracy theory” that was 100% true.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 26, 2022
While I’m awesome and totally deserving of 87,000 new followers a day it seems that someone took the shackles off my account. Wonder if they’re burning the evidence before new mgmt comes in? pic.twitter.com/9Mso48qyNP
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 26, 2022
“Here’s an idea for @elonmusk. Open the books on who Twitter has shadow banned, who Twitter has suspended, who they’ve throttled, and who was responsible for the egregious censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop reporting. Make it all public.”
Here’s an idea for @elonmusk. Open the books on who Twitter has shadow banned, who Twitter has suspended, who they’ve throttled, and who was responsible for the egregious censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop reporting. Make it all public pic.twitter.com/gbLaaUXuR4
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 26, 2022
Members of Right-of-Center and Conservative media are reporting that suddenly they have thousands of followers restored to their Twitter accounts, and Twitter followers are reporting they are once again seeing the posts of conservatives.
The Globe spoke with California Election Law Attorney Mark Meuser and asked if shadow banning, suspending and throttling Twitter accounts of news organizations, news hosts, Republican politicians and candidates is illegal campaign activity, and a illegal gift to the Democrat National Committee?
Meuser discussed the new complaint filed Tuesday by the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) with the Federal Election Commission. They allege that Google’s email platform unfairly censored GOP fundraising emails by sending campaign and political emails to users’ spam folders at a much higher rate than it did Democrat campaign and candidate emails.
Meuser said according to the FEC complaint, 70% of Republican political and candidate emails were sent to spam, while only 1 in 10 Democrat candidates emails went to spam. Meuser said this Google email spam scheme cost Republicans $1.5 billion, and was in effect a contribution to Democrats.
“Watch the RNC case closely – it could be the first Domino in a case against illegal corporate and corporate technology to unduly influence American Elections without having to report it to the FEC or other state agencies as required by law,” Meuser said.
In other words, Meuser explained, what the liberal political elite are doing is if you give $200 to a candidate it must be reported. But they can play with their algorithms and restrict your reach and not report it, or the worth or value of it.
The problem with reporting these violations is that most of the watchdog groups responsible for addressing illegal campaign contributions are made up of biased political appointees: the Federal Election Commission for one, and California’s Fair Political Practices Commission as another example. Complaints don’t go anywhere, are exceedingly costly and tedious Meuser said.
Expect to see Attorneys General in red states bring lawsuits over social media companies and illegal campaign contributions, and states issue sizable fines. Meuser said this will likely spread.
Is a complaint against Facebook next?
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