Twitter suspensions

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Twitter may suspend accounts, temporarily or permanently, from their social networking service. There have been concerted campaigns to shut down terrorist organizations and accounts that promote terrorist action, such as those promoting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the mid-2010s. Suspensions of high-profile individuals from Twitter are unusual; they often attract media attention when they occur.[1]

Policy[edit]

Users who are suspended from Twitter, based on alleged violations of Twitter's terms of service, are usually not told which of their tweets were the cause. They are told only that their accounts will not be restored, and they are told which of Twitter's rules the company claims were violated.[2] In addition to community guideline policy decisions, the Twitter DMCA-detection system and spam-detection system are sometimes manipulated or abused by groups of users attempting to force a user's suspension.[3]

In January 2019, Twitter formally provided information on instances where governments have attempted to utilize Twitter for "foreign information operations".[4]

Some commentators, such as technology entrepreneur Declan McCullagh and law professor Glenn Reynolds, have criticized Twitter's suspension and ban policies as overreaches of power.[5][6]

Twitter frequently responds to media enquiries about suspended accounts with "We do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons."[7][8][9]

History[edit]

Between 2014 and 2016, Twitter suspensions were frequently linked to ISIL-related accounts. A "Twitter suspension campaign" began in earnest in 2015, and on one day, 4 April 2015, some 10,000 accounts were suspended.[10] Twitter repeatedly shut down accounts that spread ISIL material, but new ones popped up quickly and were advertised with their old Twitter handle; Twitter in return blocked those in what was called an ongoing game of Whac-A-Mole. By August 2014, Twitter had suspended a dozen official ISIL accounts,[11] and between September and December 2014 it suspended at least 1000 accounts promoting ISIL.[12] Twitter said that between mid-2015 and February 2016 it had suspended 125,000 accounts associated with ISIL and related organizations,[12] and by August 2016 had suspended some 360,000 accounts for being associated with terrorism (not all these were ISIL-related).[11]

In January 2016, Twitter was sued by the widow of an American man killed in the 2015 Amman shooting attack, claiming that allowing ISIL to continually use the platform, including direct messages in particular,[13] constituted the provision of material support to a terrorist organization. Twitter disputed the claim.[14][15] The lawsuit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, upholding the Section 230 safe harbor, which dictates that the operators of an interactive computer service are not liable for the content published by its users.[15][16] The lawsuit was revised in August 2016, providing comparisons to other telecommunications devices.[13]

Twitter suspended multiple parody accounts that satirized Russian politics in May 2016, sparking protests and raising questions about where the company stands on freedom of speech.[17] Following public outcry, Twitter restored the accounts the next day without explaining why the accounts had been suspended.[18] The same day, Twitter, along with Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, jointly agreed to a European Union code of conduct obligating them to review "[the] majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech" posted on their services within 24 hours.[19] In August 2016, Twitter stated that it had banned 235,000 accounts over the past six months, bringing the overall number of suspended accounts to 360,000 accounts in the past year, for violating policies banning use of the platform to promote extremism.[20]

On 10 May 2019, Twitter announced that they suspended 166,513 accounts for promoting terrorism in the July–December 2018 period, stating there was a steady decrease in terrorist groups trying to use the platform owing to its "zero-tolerance policy enforcement". According to Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Lead at Twitter, there was a reduction of 19% terror related tweets from the previous reporting period (January–June 2018).[21][22][23][24][25]

In September 2017, Twitter responded to calls[26] to suspend US President Donald Trump's account, clarifying that they will not do so as they consider his tweets to be "newsworthy".[27]

In October 2017, Twitter posted a calendar of upcoming changes related to enforcement. Among other things, Twitter promised to provide "a better experience for suspension appeals," including a detailed description to the user of how a suspended account violated the rules.[28]

In November 2017, Twitter gave a deadline of 18 December to comply with their new policy, adding: "You also may not affiliate with organizations that—whether by their own statements or activity both on and off the platform—use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes."[29] On 18 December, the accounts of several high-profile organizations were suspended.[30]

Incidents[edit]

Rose McGowan[edit]

In October 2017, actress Rose McGowan said that Twitter had suspended her account for 12 hours after she repeatedly tweeted about former film studio executive Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct toward her and others. Twitter explained that McGowan's account had violated its privacy policy because one of her tweets included a private phone number. According to The New York Times, "Many Twitter users expressed outrage over Ms. McGowan's account being locked". After the tweet was removed, her account was unlocked several hours before the 12-hour ban was set to expire. A Twitter representative stated, "We will be clearer about these policies and decisions in the future."[31][32] Later that day, software engineer Kelly Ellis, using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter, urged women to shun Twitter for 24 hours, beginning at midnight, in solidarity with McGowan and with "all the victims of hate and harassment Twitter fails to support". Several activists, celebrities, and journalists joined the boycott.[33] Others criticized the level of organization and the fact that it was only 24 hours.[34]

2018 fake followers purge[edit]

On 11 July 2018, The New York Times newspaper reported that Twitter would start deleting fake follower accounts to increase the authenticity of the platform.[35][36]

The issue of fake follower accounts was highlighted in 2016 when trolls, and interference using both human-operated and bot accounts in the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, leveraged the reach of Twitter and initiated voter deception.[37][38]

Several celebrities and public figures lost substantial numbers of followers from their Twitter accounts before and after the purge(s).[39] These included Justin Bieber,[39][40] Ellen DeGeneres,[39][40] Jack Dorsey,[39][40] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,[39] Ari Fleischer,[39] Pope Francis,[39] Lady Gaga,[40] Ariana Grande,[39] Kathy Ireland,[39] Paul Kagame,[39] Ashton Kutcher,[39] The New York Times,[39] Shaquille O'Neal,[39] Barack Obama,[39][40] Katy Perry,[39][40] Queen Rania of Jordan,[39] Rihanna,[39][40] Cristiano Ronaldo,[40] Taylor Swift,[40] Donald Trump,[39][40] Twitter themselves,[40] Variety magazine,[40] Kim Kardashian,[39] Oprah Winfrey,[39] and YouTube.[40]

US President Donald Trump said that social networks such as Twitter were "totally discriminating" against Republican Party and conservative users.[41] Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey clarified that the reduction in the followers count was part of the platform's efforts to cut down on spamming and bot accounts.[36][40] Dorsey's own account lost about 230,000 followers in the purge.[39]

On 27 July 2018, Twitter's stock went down by 20.5% (equivalent to $6 billion), with one market analyst stating that it may go down even lower.[37] The user base declined to 325 million, down from 326 million.[42]

Donald Trump[edit]

On 7 January 2021, Twitter temporarily locked the account of US President Donald Trump after multiple controversies, including his use of the platform to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election and incite the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol. On 8 January, Twitter permanently banned Trump's account, citing his violation of Twitter's Glorification of Violence guidelines.[43][44] Twitter also suspended or heavily moderated accounts that enabled Trump to circumvent his ban, including the official @POTUS handle.[45][46] The news of Trump's removal from Twitter was welcomed by many, while others, including Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, criticised the move as an attack on freedom of speech on the internet, highlighting the debate on regulation of social media companies.[47][48]

List of notable suspensions[edit]

2010–2015[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
Operation Payback (@Anon_Operation) Anonymous hacktivist campaign in support of online piracy and WikiLeaks 8 December 2010 Permanent Co-ordinating denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, Mastercard and Visa.[49]
Courtney Love (@CourtneyLoveUK) American musician and actress January 2011 Permanent (original account) Suspended days after fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir filed a defamation suit against Love over tweets made on 17 March 2009. It was the first high-profile defamation trial over a celebrity's comments on Twitter. Love now uses a different account (@Courtney).[50][51][52]
Anders Behring Breivik (@AndersBBreivik) Norwegian far-right terrorist and perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks July 2011 Permanent After Breivik was arrested, his account was hacked by Anonymous, who said they would delete it.[53] It was later suspended.[citation needed]
Guy Adams (@guyadams) British journalist for The Independent 30–31 July 2012 Temporary Publishing the company email address of NBC executive Gary Zenkel during the 2012 Summer Olympics, for which NBC and Twitter were in a partnership. Twitter initially encouraged NBC to file a complaint, then later apologized and unsuspended Adams after NBC withdrew its complaint.[54]
Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) Hacktivist collective 19 December 2012 Temporary Publishing personal information belonging to Westboro Baptist Church lawyer and member Shirley Phelps-Roper.[7]
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Military wing of Hamas 11 January 2014 Permanent Unspecified but likely connected to Hamas's classification in the US and elsewhere as a terrorist organization. The organization continued to create new accounts, which were later also suspended. Further purges of Hamas accounts took place in 2016 and 2019.[55][56][57]
Phil Mason (@thunderf00t) British atheist and anti-feminist vlogger September 2014 Temporary Violating Twitter's abusive behavior policy by sharing content targeting feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian during the Gamergate controversy.[58][better source needed]
Godless Spellchecker (@GSpellchecker) English atheist blogger and podcaster 3–5 January 2015 Temporary Alleged "targeted abuse or harassment". He had been repeatedly suspended in the past.[8]
Charles C. Johnson (@ChuckCJohnson, @GotNewsDotCom and @CitizenTrolling) American alt-right blogger 24 May 2015 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules "around participating in targeted abuse" by tweeting the day before about "taking out" civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, which Mckesson perceived as "a serious threat". Temporarily suspended three times prior.[9][59]
Jalbib Al-Jazrawi ISIL member July 2015 Permanent Making a death threat against Nasser Al Qasabi.[60]
George Zimmerman American man known for the shooting of Trayvon Martin December 2015 Permanent Posting tweets containing revenge porn.[61]

2016[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
İyad el-Baghdadi Arab Spring activist January 2016 Temporary Mistaken for ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by Twitter staff.[62]
Robert Stacy McCain American conservative writer February 2016 Permanent Participating in targeted abuse.[63]
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Military wing of Hamas March 2016 Permanent Twitter attempted to remove all official accounts of the terrorist organization, but the organization swiftly opened new accounts. More accounts were suspended in 2019.[56][57]
Abu Obeida Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson 15 April 2016
Azealia Banks (@AZEALIABANKS) American rapper May 2016 Permanent Making racist and homophobic posts towards singer Zayn Malik.[52][64]
Milo Yiannopoulos British alt-right polemicist and political commentator July 2016 Permanent Insulting Leslie Jones coinciding with a racist harassment campaign.[52][65][66][67]
Guccifer 2.0 Hacking group or individual August 2016 Temporary Posting information illegally hacked from the Democratic National Committee.[68]
PewDiePie Swedish YouTuber September 2016 Temporary Pretending to be a member of ISIL.[52][69]
Various "alt-right" accounts November 2016 Permanent Including accounts of National Policy Institute, Radix Journal, Ricky Vaughn, John Rivers, and others; banned for violating Twitter's policy prohibiting users from "inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others".[70][71]
Tila Tequila American social media personality November 2016 Permanent Making neo-Nazi posts, including a photo of herself and other attendees rendering a Nazi salute at an event of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.[72]
Jack Dorsey Twitter co-founder and CEO November 2016 Temporary After restoring his account, Dorsey tweeted the suspension was due to an "internal mistake".[73][74]
Richard B. Spencer American neo-Nazi November–December 2016 Temporary Allegedly for using multiple overlapping accounts.[70][75]
John Rivello (@jew_goldstein) Maryland Trump supporter[76] December 2016 Permanent Sending an epileptogenic GIF to journalist with epilepsy Kurt Eichenwald.[77]

2017[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
Martin Shkreli American hedge fund manager January 2017 Permanent Suspended for sexual harassment of journalist Lauren Duca.[52][78][79][80][81]
Craig R. Brittain Republican US Senate candidate in Arizona, former operator of "revenge porn" website February 2017 Permanent Suspended after suggesting that the survivors of the Parkland, Florida Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, had been paid by gun control groups.[82] Brittain sued Twitter for banning his accounts.[83] The suit was dismissed as frivolous.[82]
Victoria Fierce Developer February 2017 Temporary Swearing at US Vice President Mike Pence.[84]
Mocha Uson Filipina entertainer and Rodrigo Duterte supporter March 2017 Temporary Unknown.[85][86]
Abhijeet Bhattacharya Indian singer May 2017 Temporary Harassing women including activist Shehla Rashid.[87]
Al Jazeera Arabic Arabic-language news broadcaster June 2017 Temporary Unknown.[88]
Daniel Sieradski American writer and activist[89] 8 June 2017 Permanent Unknown, Sieradski believes he was suspended for threatening violence against Baked Alaska, or for arguing with Courtney Love about Linda Sarsour.[90]
Anthony Cumia American radio personality and broadcaster 11 June 2017 Permanent Account permanently suspended for alleged harassment involving transsexual men's rights activist Katie Rife.[91] Since then, Cumia has activated several new accounts which were subsequently permanently suspended as well in 2018 and 2019.[citation needed]
Popehat American law blog August 2017 Temporary Posting personal information in screen shots of threats received.[92]
Joseph Cox Journalist for The Daily Beast August 2017 Temporary Targeted by bots after writing story about suspicious activity by pro-Kremlin bots.[93]
@nemuismywife Japanese man August 2017 Permanent (original account) Account permanently suspended for making a death threat towards a dead mosquito. The man started a new account.[94][95]
Alex Boivin Twitter user August 2017 Temporary Suspended for sexual harassment of the cereal mascot Tony the Tiger.[96][97]
Elizabeth Johnston Christian blogger August 2017 Temporary Criticizing article of Teen Vogue which promoted anal sex amongst teenagers.[98]
@themoodforluv American woman September 2017 Permanent Harassment of singer Taylor Swift.[99]
Kamaal Rashid Khan Indian actor and film critic October 2017 Permanent (original account) After the ban, Khan announced his intention to take legal action against Twitter; he later created a new account.[100][101]
Rose McGowan American actress and activist October 2017 Temporary Account temporarily suspended for posting a private phone number.[102][103]
Roger Stone American conservative political consultant and lobbyist October 2017 Permanent Banned for harassment of CNN journalists.[104] Stone later threatened legal action against Twitter.[105]
Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) President of the United States November 2017 Temporary Account briefly deactivated by a rogue Twitter employee on their last workday.[106]
"Jenna Abrams" Alt-right blogger November 2017 Permanent Unmasked as a fictitious person operated by a Russian troll factory.[107]
Robert Delaware American man November 2017 Temporary Mistaken for a Russian troll account.[108]
2,752 Russian troll accounts November 2017 Permanent Twitter's internal investigation linked the accounts to Russia's Internet Research Agency.[109]
Baked Alaska Alt-right activist November 2017 Permanent Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone.[110]
Talib Kweli Musician November 2017 Temporary Account locked after posting business address of online harasser who posted threats and racist slurs; restored after he deleted the tweet. The account of the harasser, extremist attorney Jason Lee Van Dyke, was suspended.[111]
Pakistan Defence Forum Forum for discussing Pakistan's armed forces November 2017 Unknown Suspended for posting doctored photo and fake news.[112]
Wael Abbas Egyptian journalist, blogger, and human rights activist December 2017 Unknown Unknown.[113]
Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen Leader and deputy leader of fascist group Britain First 18 December 2017 Permanent Contravention of new rule for against people 'that affiliate with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes'.[114] The organization had posted videos with false and misleading captions attributing violence to Muslims, which were re-tweeted by Donald Trump.[115]
American Nazi Party American Nazis 18 December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[114]
Jared Taylor and American Renaissance

Michael Hill and League of the South

Traditionalist Worker Party

American white nationalists 18 December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[114]
Nordic Resistance Movement Nordic white nationalists December 2017 Permanent Affiliation with organizations that use or promote violence against civilians to further their causes.[116]
James Allsup Far-right political commentator December 2017 Unknown Unknown.[117]
Tyler Barriss (@SWAuTistic) Suspect in deadly 2017 Wichita swatting incident December 2017 Unknown Account suspended after Los Angeles police arrested Barriss as the suspected "swatter" who claimed responsibility for placing a fake 911 call that led an officer to kill an innocent man in Wichita, Kansas.[118]
fuck every word (@fuckeveryword) Twitter bot 20 December 2017 Permanent Tweeting "fuck niggers".[119]

2018[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
David Clarke Former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin 2 January 2018 Temporary Suspended for three posts that appeared to encourage violence against the media, including one tweet stating "Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD." Suspension lifted after Clarke deleted the posts.[120][121]
Golden Dawn Greek ultranationalist party 5 January 2018 Permanent Broadening of hateful conduct policy on encompass incitement to violence.[122]
Paul Nehlen Congressional candidate challenging Speaker Paul Ryan in Republican primary 13 February 2018 Permanent Banned after posting racist tweet targeting Meghan Markle.[123]
Tommy Robinson British nationalist 28 March 2018 Permanent Hateful conduct.[124]
Owen Benjamin Comedian 5 April 2018 Permanent Offensive tweets directed at David Hogg.[125]
Sabo Street artist 13 April 2018 Permanent
 [citation needed]
Unknown.[126]
Mike Enoch White nationalist 16 April 2018 Permanent
 [citation needed]
Hateful conduct.[127]
Bezalel Smotrich Israeli politician and Knesset member 23 April 2018 Temporary Suspended for 12 hours for "offensive behavior" after tweeting, regarding Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian serving an eight-month jail sentence for a videotaped assault of an Israeli soldier: "In my opinion, she should have gotten a bullet, at least in the kneecap."[128][129]
Splinter News and other users News site 20 June 2018 Temporary Linking to their story featuring and posting Stephen Miller's cell phone number.[130][131]
@EricHartleyFrnd Account used by Jarrod Ramos 28 June 2018 Permanent Jarrod Ramos was arrested after he shot and killed five employees at The Capital during the mass shooting.[132]
"Darren Mills" Russian-linked account 4 July 2018 Permanent Unmasked as a fictitious person operated by a Russian troll factory.[107]
70 million automated, troll, and fake accounts 6 July 2018 Permanent Part of a crackdown on malicious activity.[133][134]
Russian-linked accounts 14 July 2018 Permanent Connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of Twitter's rules.[135]
Candace Owens American conservative activist 5 August 2018 Temporary Banned in error after tweeting the content of several Sarah Jeong's controversial tweets about white people, and changing races and religions mentioned in the tweets.[136]
Peter van Buren Former United States Foreign Service employee and writer 5 August 2018 Permanent Banned for harassing Jonathan M. Katz in posts.[137][non-primary source needed]
Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys Neo-fascist organization and its founder 11 August 2018 Permanent Violating policy on "violent extremist groups".[138]
Talbert W. Swan II American prelate of the Church of God in Christ 22 August 2018 Permanent; later reinstated Hateful conduct.[139] Possibly for calling Candace Owens a "coon". Swan's account was reinstated on 4 September 2018, which he attributed to thousands of his followers calling for Twitter to lift the suspension.[140]
Alex Jones and InfoWars Conspiracy website and its founder 6 September 2018 Permanent[141] First suspended for a week on 14 August for violating policy on "inciting violence"[142] and later banned on 6 September for violating policy on "abusive behaviour".[143]
Kris Paronto Former US Army Ranger 10 September 2018 Temporary Using the word retard and the hashtags #YouAreAnIdiot and #NeverGoFullRetard.[144]
James Woods Actor 20 September 2018 Temporary Posting hoax political meme on 20 July 2018, specifically a fake message, supposedly from Democrats, that urged men not to vote in the midterm elections. Woods received an email from Twitter stating that the tweet had "the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election". Woods refused to delete the tweet himself.[145] He was allowed to return in October 2018.[146]
@CongressEdits Twitter bot 3 October 2018 Permanent Automatically rebroadcasting Wikipedia edits that doxed members of Congress.[147]
Dozens of Occupy movement activists 11 October 2018 Permanent No explanation from Twitter.[148]
  • @InfowarsArmy
  • @InfowarsCrew
  • @InfowarsInsider
  • @InfowarsMag
  • @InfowarsPapers
  • @InfowarsReports
  • @InfowarsShop
  • @Infowars_EU
  • @PrisonPlanetTV
  • @RealInfoStore
  • @RealNewsX2
  • @TheNewsWars
  • @WarRoomMemes
  • @WarRoomShow
  • and 4 other accounts
Accounts affiliated with Alex Jones and InfoWars 22 October 2018 Permanent Permanently banned for ties with Alex Jones and InfoWars after "numerous violations and warnings".[149]
  • @hardrock2016
  • @hardrockintlet
Accounts used by Cesar Sayoc 26 October 2018 Permanent After the mail bombing attempts against Donald Trump critics and Democratic Party politicians, Sayoc's profiles were found to have posted far-right political conspiracy theories, graphic images and specific threats.[150]
Smash Racism D.C. Antifa group from Washington, D.C. 7 November 2018 Permanent Posting the home addresses of Tucker Carlson along with other family members following a protest outside Carlson's home.[151]
Meghan Murphy Journalist 15 November 2018 Permanent Banned for "hateful conduct" following a heated exchange which involved misgendering a transgender woman.[152]
Laura Loomer Political activist, conspiracy theorist and Internet personality 22 November 2018 Permanent Hateful conduct, suspended for a tweet attacking Ilhan Omar by accusing her of being "pro-Sharia" and "pro-FGM".[153]
Jesse Kelly Conservative talk radio host and former Republican congressional candidate 25 November 2018 Permanent; later reinstated Unknown.[154] Reinstated after media exposure, including an appearance with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.[155]
@putinRF_eng Imposter 26 November 2018 Permanent Impersonating Russian president Vladimir Putin after a complaint to Twitter from Russian officials.[156]
Amos Yee Blogger 10 December 2018 Permanent Permanently banned for supporting pedophilia.[157]
Andile Mngxitama Leader of the Black First Land First 17 December 2018 Temporary Banned for a minimum of seven days after Mngxitama made threats to kill 5 White South Africans for every taxi driver killed in response to comments made by businessman Johann Rupert.[158]

2019[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
Stephanie Sargnagel Austrian author and artist January 2019 Permanent; later reinstated Suspended for posting tweet that translates[citation needed] to: 'Austria, you stupid son of a bitch, I am going to kill you'.[159]
Jacob Wohl American conspiracy theorist, fraudster and hoaxer February 2019 Permanent Creating and operating fake accounts after boasting he intended to manipulate the 2020 United States presidential election results in a USA Today interview.[160]
Ali Khamenei (@khamenei_ir) Supreme Leader of Iran February 2019 Temporary Account locked for 24 hours for posting a tweet endorsing the 1989 fatwa against Salman Rushdie.[161]
Brenton Tarrant Perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings 15 March 2019 Permanent Posting pictures of the guns he later used in the attacks.[162]
James Woods Actor April 2019 Temporary Tweeting, "If you try to kill the King, you best not miss. #HangThemAll".[163][164][165]
@TRobinsonMEP and @CarlUKIP UKIP accounts of Tommy Robinson and Carl Benjamin 26 April 2019 Permanent Violating Twitter's terms of service.[166]
Correo del Orinoco
Diario VEA
Pro-Maduro Venezuelan newspapers 1 May 2019 Unknown Unspecified; occurred during the 2019 Venezuela uprising.[167]
David Horowitz Conservative activist and author 7 May 2019 Temporary Unknown.[168]
Min Aung Hlaing Commander-in-Chief of Tatmadaw 16 May 2019 Permanent Spreading propaganda against Rohingya people.[169]
Nebojša Krstić Serbian pundit aligned with the Serbian Progressive Party 17 May 2019 Permanent Harassment of Vreme journalist Jovana Gligorijević.[170][171][172]
Chiitan Mascot of the town of Susaki, Japan 17 May 2019 Permanent (original account) Unknown.[173]
Ed Krassenstein and Brian Krassenstein Resistance Twitter activists 23 May 2019 Permanent Operating fake accounts.[174]
Eoin Lenihan Researcher and educator 29 May 2019 Permanent Banned from Twitter for abusing multiple accounts for abusive purposes.[175]
@TheTweetOfGod Account operated by David Javerbaum 11 June 2019 Temporary Tweeting, "If gay people are a mistake, they're a mistake I've made hundreds of millions of times, which proves I'm incompetent and shouldn't be relied upon for anything."[176]
Luke Taylor Internet troll 8 July 2019 Permanent Sustained harassment of the Planters snack food mascot, Mr. Peanut.[177][178]
Louis Farrakhan Leader of The Nation of Islam 9 July 2019 Temporary Banned for using "language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion".[179]
Lindsay Shepherd Free-speech activist 16 July 2019 Permanent; later reinstated Banned for "hateful conduct" following a heated exchange with a transgender woman and LGBTQ advocate from Vancouver.[180][181][182][183]
Patrick Wood Crusius and Connor Stephen Betts Perpetrators of the 2019 El Paso shooting and the 2019 Dayton shooting 4 August 2019 Permanent [184][185]
Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) Political campaign for US Senator Mitch McConnell 7–9 August 2019 Temporary Posting a video that included violent threats against McConnell.[186]
200,000 Chinese accounts 19 August 2019 Permanent Believed the accounts were part of a Chinese government influence campaign targeting the protest movement in Hong Kong.[187]
Pauline Hanson Australian senator and leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation 22 August 2019 Temporary Suspended for "violating rules against abuse and harassment" by posting video advocating the use of violence against protesters[188]
Raúl Castro
Mariela Castro
Mesa Redonda
Granma Digital
Radio Rebelde
Cuban government-affiliated accounts 12 September 2019 Unknown Unspecified breach of rules.[189]
Briscoe Cain Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives 13 September 2019 Temporary Suspended for 141 days after refusing to remove a perceived violent threat against Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke.[190]
DotDev.ae Operator of bot accounts in the United Arab Emirates 20 September 2019 Permanent Spreading information about Qatar and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[191]
Saud al-Qahtani Former media consultant to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman 20 September 2019 Permanent Banned for violating the company's "platform manipulation" policies.[191]
Hamas and Hezbollah–affiliated accounts, including Al-Manar and Quds News Network 1 November 2019 Permanent Part of Twitter's crackdown on "illegal terrorist organizations and violent extremist groups", conducted after reviewing accounts highlighted by US representatives Josh Gottheimer, Tom Reed, Max Rose, and Brian Fitzpatrick, who accused Twitter of violating the law by doing business with "foreign terrorist organizations". Twitter reversed its previous decision to allow a platform for non-military arms of terrorist organizations.[57][192][193]
Will Sloan Canadian film critic and podcaster 21 November 2019 Temporary Suspended for tweets about the fictional character Baby Yoda.[194]
Danielle Stella Republican candidate potentially challenging US Rep. Ilhan Omar in the 2020 election 27 November 2019 Permanent Repeated rule violations; one tweet read, "If it is proven @IlhanMN [Ilhan Omar] passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged".[195]
Pete Hegseth Fox News contributor 8 December 2019 Temporary Banned for posting an anti-American manifesto that was written from Mohammed Alshamrani, the Saudi Arabian military cadet who shot and killed three people and injured 12 when he opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on 6 December 2019.[196]
88,000 Saudi-linked accounts 20 December 2019 Permanent State-backed information operations originating in Saudi Arabia that "violated platform manipulation policies".[197]

2020[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
Dozen accounts associated with Venezuela's government and military 8 January 2020 Unknown Unspecified.[198]
Zero Hedge Far-right libertarian financial blog 31 January 2020 Permanent; later reinstated Publishing an article falsely accusing a Wuhan Institute of Virology doctor of releasing COVID-19 as a biological weapon and doxxing said doctor.[199] The account was reinstated in June 2020 with Twitter saying the suspension was in error.[200]
@BabyNutBaby
@BabyNutMemes
@BabyNutLOL
Meme accounts tied to Planters 3 February 2020 Permanent Astroturfing in support of the "Baby Nut" campaign. The main Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) account was not suspended.[201]
70 pro–Michael Bloomberg accounts 21 February 2020 Permanent Posting identical messages, which Twitter said amounted to spam and "platform manipulation".[202]
Zuby (@ZubyMusic) Rapper 27 February 2020 Temporary Writing "ok dude" to an account later identified as belonging to a trans person.[203][better source needed]
Andrew Walz (@WalzRI) Fake Republican candidate account 28 February 2020 Permanent Tricking Twitter into blue check verifying a fake account of a Republican running for Congress in Rhode Island's 1st congressional district by a teenager.[204]
Jack Burkman Lobbyist and conspiracy theorist 19 March 2020 Permanent Tweeted unevidenced claims about impending nationwide food shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following repeated infractions of Twitter rules, including making false statements about COVID-19.[205]
Jaboukie Young-White (@giabuchi) American comedian 23 March 2020 Temporary Impersonating verified accounts such as CNN. Young-White's account was later restored, although it was stripped of its verified status.[206]
Metawin Opas-iamkajorn (@Winmetawin) Thai actor 8 April 2020 Unknown Unspecified.[207][208]
Owen Shroyer (@allidoisowen)
Rob Dew (@DewsNewz)
Banned.Video (@BANNEDdotVIDEO)
InfoWars personalities 16 April 2020 Permanent Promoting violence in a Texas rally against the stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic and evading the permanent suspension of Alex Jones and InfoWars.[209]
Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka (@ChinaEmbSL) Chinese government agency 13 April 2020 Temporary For using undiplomatic language against social media users while responding to allegations against China.[210][211]
Alex (@ALX) Turning Point USA ambassador 17 April 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy after sharing a meme of Xi Jinping generated by using Joe Biden's avatar generator from his website.[212][213]
Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) American conservative activist 2 May 2020 Temporary Banned after tweeting criticism of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order and encouraging the state's citizens to violate the directive.[214]
Joey Salads American conservative media personality 12 May 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy.[215]
@ANTIFA_US Fake Antifa account 2 June 2020 Permanent Calling for violence and engaging in platform manipulation and spam.[216]
170,000 Chinese, 1,000 Russian, and 7,340 Turkish accounts 11 June 2020 Permanent Found to be linked to propaganda and disinformation supportive of their respective governments.[217]
Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) British columnist and far-right activist 19 June 2020 Permanent Temporarily on 30 January 2020 possibly due to a tweet she made about rapper Stormzy.[218] Permanently, for "violations of the hateful conduct policy" after she voiced opposition to a school program providing meals for hungry children.[219]
Logan Cook (Carpe Donktum) Pro-Trump meme account 23 June 2020 Permanent Account suspended for half an hour on 14 October 2019 for sharing an edited scene from Kingsman: The Secret Service depicting Trump murdering journalists, politicians, and news outlets.[220][221] Permanently banned for "repeated violations of this policy" after he created a fake CNN "racist toddlers" video of two toddlers, one black and one white, running toward each other and hugging, before running away together which Twitter added a "manipulated media" label on the video as racist. The video was taken down by Twitter following a copyright complaint made by the original content owner.[222]
Distributed Denial of Secrets (@DDoSecrets) Activist group 23 June 2020 Unknown Publishing BlueLeaks, 269 gigabytes of internal US law enforcement data obtained by the hacker collective Anonymous, for "dissemination of hacked materials" and "information that could have put individuals at risk of real-world harm".[223]
Graham Linehan (@Glinner) Television writer 27 June 2020 Permanent Repeated acts of platform manipulation and hateful conduct towards transgender individuals.[224] In December 2020, Linehan attempted to circumvent the ban by activating another new account (@scarlysimon), which was subsequently permanently suspended as well.[225]
Stefan Molyneux Far-right activist and conspiracy theorist 7 July 2020 Permanent Hateful content.[226]
Over 50 accounts of white nationalist organizations from several countries 10 July 2020 Permanent "Violating [Twitter's] policies in relation to violent extremism."[227][228]
Various users 15 July 2020 Unknown Posting screenshots of Twitter internal control panels following the 2020 Twitter bitcoin scam.[229]
Approx. 157,000 QAnon-related accounts 21 July 2020 7,000 banned permanently, 150,000 limited Engaged in harassment and brigading of other users and misinformation.[230]
Talib Kweli Rapper 23 July 2020 Permanent Harassment.[231]
16 pro-Jair Bolsonaro accounts 24 July 2020 Permanent Removed on order of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil for allegedly promoting fake news including the accounts of Roberto Jefferson, Luciano Hang, Sara Winter, and others.[232]
Wiley (@WileyCEO) Musician 25 July 2020 Permanent Antisemitic comments.[233]
Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) American businessman and eldest son of US President Donald Trump 28 July 2020 Temporary Blocked for twelve hours for spreading the debunked claim that Hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19.[234]
David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) White supremacist and former KKK Grand Wizard 30 July 2020 Permanent Temporarily suspended in August 2017 for association with the Unite the Right rally.[235] Permanently suspended in July 2020 for hateful content.[236][237]
Conservative Party of New York State Political party July 2020 Temporary An automated spam filter had misidentified the party account as disseminating spam. Twitter undid the error on 10 September, two months after the erroneous suspension.[238]
Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) Conservative pundit 14 August 2020 Permanent Using an account to evade the suspension of another account.[239]
Political satire accounts 17 August 2020 Temporary Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy.[240]
  • Guy Verhoftwat
  • Jarvis DuPont
  • Journalist Excellence Worldwide (@journalistew)
  • Liberal Larry (@larrydaliberal)
  • Sir Lefty Farr-Wright (@supportourlefty)
  • Tolerance Police (@diversitypatrol)
Permanent
3,000 Chinese accounts 26 August 2020 Permanent Part of a Chinese botnet known as "Dracula".[241]
Unity 2020 (@ArticlesofUnity) American political movement 27 August 2020 Unknown Considered "potentially harmful".[242][243]
AlwaysActions (@AlwaysActions) Conservative account 10 September 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's manipulation and spam policy after repeatedly sharing xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and hyper-partisan disinformation; US President Donald Trump promoted several of the account's tweets.[244]
David Vance (@DVATW) Right-wing blogger 10 September 2020 Permanent Hateful content for repeated accusations of racism including harassing footballer Marcus Rashford.[245][246]
Li-Meng Yan (@LiMengYAN119) Chinese virologist 15 September 2020 Permanent (original account) Li-Meng Yan's first account permanently suspended for linking to an upload of an unpublished pre-print paper claiming SARS-CoV-2 was made in a laboratory; she later created a new account (@DrLiMengYAN1).[247][248][249]
Kanye West (@kanyewest) American rapper and US presidential candidate 16 September 2020 Temporary Publishing the phone number of Forbes magazine editor Randall Lane.[250]
About Hungary (@abouthungary) Official account of the Government of Hungary 30 September 2020 Temporary Unknown.[251]
Remix News (@RMXnews) Hungarian government-supported media publication Permanent
Numerous suspicious accounts claiming to be Black supporters of Donald Trump 13 October 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules on spam and platform manipulation.[252]
New York Post Tabloid newspaper 15 October 2020 Temporary Official account locked for tweeting articles alleging corruption and attempted collusion between Burisma and Joe Biden.[253][254][255]
Charlie Kirk Founder of Turning Point USA 17 October 2020 Temporary Spreading misleading information about mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.[256]
Gayathri Raguram Indian choreographer and actress 26 October 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules after posting a series of tweets relating to the controversy over VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan's statement on Manusmriti.[257]
The Chaser (@chaser) Australian comedy group and satirical news publication 3 November 2020 Temporary Impersonating Donald Trump and tweeting "Don't vote for me, I'm a massive idiot".[258] The account was restored the next day but lost its verification.
DeAnna Lorraine (@DeAnna4Congress) Former Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives 3 November 2020 Permanent Repeated violations of the Twitter rules; tweeting that "immigrants would enter the US and commit violence if Trump is not elected".[259]
Numerous accounts claiming to be independent journalists 3 November 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules on spam and platform manipulation.[259]
David Icke English conspiracy theorist 4 November 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules on COVID-19 misinformation.[260]
Steve Bannon (@WarRoomPandemic) Former White House Chief Strategist to Donald Trump 5 November 2020 Permanent Banned after he called for Anthony Fauci and Christopher A. Wray to be beheaded on his podcast.[261]
Andy Wigmore (@andywigmore) British political activist 8 November 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules against posting violent threats.[262][better source needed]
Mohsen Rezaee (@ir_rezaee) Iranian politician and secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council 9 November 2020 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules against abusive behavior.[263]
Bijan Namdar Zangeneh Iranian Minister of Petroleum 15 November 2020 Permanent Banned because it violated the website's rules against impersonation.[264]
True Indology (@tiinexile) Indian right-wing historian account 17 November 2020 Permanent Banned after online banter with senior IPS officer.[265]
@TheBettyTrump Elizabeth Trump Grau imposter 20 November 2020 Permanent Impersonating Donald Trump's older sister Elizabeth Trump Grau.[266][267]
Chris Taylor Brown (@RealCTBTrapt)
Trapt (@TRAPTOFFICIAL)
American rock band and its lead singer 8 December 2020 Permanent The official Trapt Twitter account and Chris Taylor Brown's personal account were both suspended after Brown, who operated both accounts, wrote a series of tweets defending statutory rape.[268]
@real_bobcostas Bob Costas imposter 9 December 2020 Permanent Impersonating Bob Costas after a complaint to Twitter from Costas's son Keith Michael Kirby Costas.[269]

2021[edit]

Individual/account Description Date Duration Reason for suspension
L. Lin Wood (@LLinWood) American pro-Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist 7 January 2021 Permanent Violating Twitter's rules against inciting violence and ban evasion using a second account (@FightBackLaw), which was also suspended.[270]
Dan Bongino (@dbongino) American conservative political commentator 7 January 2021 Temporary Violating Twitter's civic integrity policy.[271]
Jake Angeli American QAnon conspiracy theorist and far-right activist 7 January 2021 Permanent Related to being a figurehead in the 2021 storming of the US Capitol.[272]
Sci-Hub Kazakhstani shadow library of research papers 8 January 2021 Permanent Violating Twitter's counterfeiting policy.[273]
Michael Flynn (@GenFlynn) Retired US Army lieutenant general and former National Security Advisor under Donald Trump 8 January 2021 Permanent Violating Twitter's policy on "Coordinated Harmful Activity" in relation to sharing QAnon content.[274][275][276]
Sidney Powell (@SidneyPowell1) American pro-Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist
Jim Watkins (@isitwetyet) Operators of 8kun
Ron Watkins (@CodeMonkeyZ)
Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) President of the United States 8 January 2021 Permanent On 7 January, Trump's personal account was suspended for 12 hours after Twitter removed three of his tweets.[277] This was elevated to a permanent suspension after repeated and severe violations of Twitter's Civic Integrity policy, following his supporters' storming of the US Capitol.[278][279][280] Trump attempted to circumvent this ban by using the official account of the US President (@POTUS); Twitter did not ban this account but deleted Trump's new tweets written after the suspension.[281] Twitter also suspended the Trump presidential campaign's account (@TeamTrump) after it reposted the deleted tweets from @POTUS.[282][283][284]
Team Trump (@TeamTrump) Donald Trump presidential campaign
Gary Coby (@GaryCoby) Digital Director for Trump's 2020 presidential campaign 8 January 2021 Permanent Attempted to help President Trump evade Twitter bans by using his account. Coby changed the name and picture of his account to those of President Trump.[285]
Ben Garrison (@GrrrGraphics) American alt-right political cartoonist 8 January 2021 Permanent [286]
Tracy Beanz (@tracybeanz) Right-wing journalist and podcaster 8 January 2021 Permanent [287]
Ali Alexander (@ali) American far-right activist and organizer of Stop the Steal campaign 10 January 2021 Permanent [288]
Lou Barletta (@LouBarletta_PA) Former US Representative for Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district 10 January 2021 Permanent (personal account); later reinstated Suspended "in error for perceived violations of [Twitter's] impersonation policy". The account was restored the following day.[289][290]
Approximately 70,000 QAnon-related accounts 11 January 2021 Permanent [291]
George Bruno (@GeorgeBruno) Self-proclaimed "sultan" who promoted far-right ideology 11 January 2021 Permanent [292]
Mindy Robinson (@iheartmindy and @mindytmo) American actress, reality TV personality and podcaster 13 January 2021 Permanent [293][failed verification]
Mohammad-Ali Abtahi (@abtahi_m) Vice President of Iran and a close associate of former President Mohammad Khatami 15 January 2021 Temporary Unknown.
Marjorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) US Congresswoman representing Georgia's 14th congressional district (2021-) 17 January 2021 Temporary [294]
Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) Indian actress 20 January 2021 Temporary For a now-deleted tweet on the makers of Tandav, in which the actor had said that it was "time to take their heads off". She had posted the comment in response to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting asking the makers of the series to explain allegations of insult to Hindu Gods in some scenes. [295]
Chinese Embassy in US (@ChineseEmbinUS) Chinese government agency 20 January 2021 Temporary For a tweet defending the Chinese government's policies of forced sterilization of Uighur women in Xinjiang.[296]

See also[edit]

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