After Massive QAnon Purge, Republicans Complaining About Losing Twitter Followers Are Telling On Themselves
Over the weekend, a bunch of prominent conservative media and political figures started complaining about losing a substantial number of followers. They were accusing Twitter and “big tech” in general of censoring conservative voices. And it’s true that these people were having a rough time online. In the span of a few days, Donald Trump’s account was temporarily suspended, then permanently suspended, Parler was deplatformed, and these Republicans saw large numbers of followers disappear.
Of course, the way these conservatives talked about what was happening was disingenuous. They talked as if they were being persecuted for their political views. But incitement of violence, hate speech, and all the other reasons why this was happening are not “political views.” (Or at least, they shouldn’t be, and Republicans don’t usually say the quiet part quite that loudly.)
While these conservative figures were online or on TV complaining about being censored, pretty much all of them were also ignoring the fact that days earlier, Trump’s supporters violently stormed the capitol in a riot and attempted insurrection, and that they were using these online platforms to spout their bigoted and violent ideologies and to potentially plan more attacks.
But looking at the complaints of these prominent conservatives, you’d think one had nothing to do with the other.
There are people on here, including members of Congress, complaining more loudly about losing Twitter followers than about losing a Capitol police officer after the president’s supporters stormed Congress.
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 10, 2021
You’ve tweeted more about losing Twitter followers than the people who tried to overturn the Constitution on Tuesday.
Perhaps you’re just telling on yourself, Matt.
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) January 11, 2021
Trump’s mob tried to hang Pence.
They killed a cop.
375,000 are dead of COVID.
Now more than ever, we must ask why Devin Nunes is losing a few Twitter followers.
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) January 10, 2021
On Monday, Twitter confirmed what the rest of us already assumed: That the conservatives complaining about losing mass followers only had that problem because they were being followed by potentially dangerous people. Twitter said that they suspended 70,000 accounts that promoted QAnon conspiracy theories. They did so because we’ve all now seen how those online conspiracies can and do lead to “offline harm.”
So maybe people shouldn’t be so proud to announce that those accounts made up a large enough portion of their followers that they noticed when those followers were gone.
Slightly awkward for all the public figures that outed themselves as losing followers over the last 48 hours https://t.co/2R837nJopl
— Nadine Batchelor-Hunt (@nadinebh_) January 12, 2021
Raise your hand if you didn’t lose tens of thousands of followers this week because your followers aren’t Neo-Nazis
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) January 10, 2021
wish the people who are griping about losing followers this week would instead be more embarrassed that so many nazis were following them!
— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) January 10, 2021
Free advice – if you are losing tens of thousands of followers the moment Twitter starts taking down Neo-Nazis and violent insurrectionists, maybe don’t advertise that!
Also maybe people are unfollowing you out disgust for your support of a coupist bc they care about our country https://t.co/zw64FS8gmf
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 10, 2021
Twitter says they’re also planning to crack down harder on accounts sharing misinformation about the election so I imagine these same people can expect to lose even more followers in the near future.
(via New York Times, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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