Banned Twitter users return: ‘We’re coming back with a vengeance’
By Marilyn Ray, Reuters
PublishedMonday, August 01, 2018
The Twitter suspension of more than 250,000 people in the last six months has not only divided online communities but also left many companies seeking to distance themselves from the social network’s censorship policies.
Racial discrimination, cyberbullying and the need for greater transparency in government processes are just some of the issues that have forced the technology giant to take an increasingly hard-line stance on free speech on its platform.
In a series of moves to rein in the spread of misinformation, it has also shut down fake accounts in an attempt to combat a spate of social media trolls who spread posts on issues like immigration, the Rohingya crisis and even the death of a prominent Twitter account boss.
That has led to a backlash from the many users who took to Twitter to express their dismay and have encouraged the company to allow them to return after they were banned for a range of reasons. With the ban now set to end, they say that the platform has learned from its mistakes.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that Twitter is a private platform, not a public platform, that is why we’ve been so hard on these folks that have been abusing our platform in this way,” said a Twitter spokesperson.
“We’ve tried to take action consistently,” he added. “We have not been perfect but we’ve been trying, which is why we’ve been growing.”
A former staffer at conservative outlet Townhall was among the first to express outrage in March after being suspended from the platform for using their platform to accuse former Vice President Joseph R. Biden of sexual assault in 2014.
In a letter to Twitter’s CEO, Townhall President Joe Biggs wrote that it was time to end the suspension of his account. That was a year ago.
“The continued suspension of conservative voices has no place on Twitter,” he wrote.
A wave of people began to write on Twitter about their decision to