Donald Trump and Twitter Photograph:( WION )
Twitter's task of checking whether real people use unverified accounts on the portal has created a ruckus among the supporters of Donald Trump, and many of his government officials
Following the riots at US Capitol on Wednesday, many major social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook restricted US President Donald Trump's reach on their websites. Twitter went a step further on Friday by permanently suspending Trump's account.
Now, many companies are undertaking audits to ascertain the veracity of users on their portals. As part of this routine exercise, Twitter regularly suspends accounts that may be "bots", or automated accounts that push out regulated content, which in many cases are used to propagate fake news.
Twitter's task of checking whether real people use unverified accounts on the portal has created a ruckus among the supporters of Donald Trump, and many of his government officials. A lot of US government officials have lost followers on the website, which they are now labelling an attack on the freedom of speech aimed at conservative voices, a claim which has been for long denied by both Twitter and Facebook.
Trump's involvement in the riots wasn't direct, but he had urged his followers to march to the Capitol on the same day, which ended up in death and destruction at the US Capitol, marking the first instance of violence during the transition period in between presidencies.
In response, Twitter released a statement claiming this exercise is undertaken regularly in a bid to "challenge accounts to confirm details like email and phone number. Until that info is confirmed, these accounts aren’t included in follower counts”.
Soon after the fluctuation in number, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the following - “This is how you create an echo chamber”, attaching a picture proving he had lost 19,500 followers.
This is how you create an echo chamber... pic.twitter.com/aPDA37qKS0— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 9, 2021
Many Republican leaders and allies followed suit and made similar claims. Former Press Secretary to the Trump administration - Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed to have lost 50,000 followers. She further attacked "big tech" for "censoring" American voices.
I’ve lost 50k+ followers this week. The radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalize, censor, or silence the American people. This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country. https://t.co/Xupd0N1hea— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) January 9, 2021
Matt Gaetz of Florida made similar claims but topped it off with a light remark about losing weight.
I wish I could lose weight as fast as I’m losing followers during this Twitter purge....— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 9, 2021