Over the last week, Twitter’s been purging accounts – almost exclusively of the conservative variety – with alarming frequency. James Woods, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parody account, and David Horowitz are among those banned in the last two days.
Jack’s now adding election interference to his repertoire, banning users from posting a link to Los Angeles City Council candidate Brandon Saario’s website just a month before Election Day.
Saario knew that he was facing an uphill battle in getting the word out about his campaign in Democrat-controlled Los Angeles and knew that Twitter, Facebook, and the like weren’t exactly friendly to conservative candidates or causes. But, as everyone who follows or works in politics knows, any serious candidate must have a presence on all of these platforms.
Former State Assembly candidate Roxanne Beckford Hoge sounded the alarm:
Okay @jack I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist; but I’ve tried a few times to tweet info about candidate @SaarioBrandon and @Twitter says “we can’t tweet this; save in drafts”. Really?? pic.twitter.com/tW3qcMGaBb
— Roxanne Beckford Hoge (@RoxanneForAD46) May 6, 2019
Users who tried to click through to Saario’s website from his Twitter profile received a scary message:
Those using Twitter’s desktop site received the following message when attempting to send any tweet containing a link to Saario’s website. Tweets with the same verbiage, but no website link, were allowed to go through.
What's the deal @Twitter cc: @RoxanneForAD46 @SaarioBrandon pic.twitter.com/7q9F82alFb
— Julie Ponzi (@JuliePonzi) May 7, 2019
Here’s one example of verbiage Twitter classified as “might be automated.”
Yes .@SaarioBrandon a tweet with inclusion of your website is subsequently blocked. This clearly is #electioneering & should be reported to . @CaliforniaEIP Election Integrity Project pic.twitter.com/UjOA2vtxyR
— America Is InTrouble (@USAisInTrouble) May 7, 2019
When reached by RedState, Saario said he hadn’t received anything from Twitter notifying him that there could be a problem with the link to his website or with automated posts, or what he could do to rectify the situation. He said the same thing happened about a month ago and after multiple messages to @TwitterSupport the ability to post a link was restored. This time, it’s been 48 hours with no response from Twitter.
There has been no visible response from the California GOP or the Los Angeles County GOP to this issue on social media.
If it’s not okay for bots to interfere in the electoral process, why is it okay for @Jack to systematically silence conservative voices?
Jennifer Van Laar is Deputy Managing Editor of RedState. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.