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After Massive QAnon Purge, Republicans Complaining About Losing Twitter Followers Are Telling On Themselves


U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) complain to the media about something

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.

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.

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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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.