Twitter permanently banned two left-wing social media stars this week for allegedly “purchasing account interactions” and “operating multiple fake accounts.”
Prominent members of the online anti-Trump “resistance,” brothers Ed and Brian Krassenstein combined for more than 1.6 million followers on the site before their ban, according to the Daily Beast.
But amid pushback from fans of the brothers and renewed allegations of anti-conservative bias in Twitter’s application of its terms of service and rules, the company is standing firm in banning the Trump-trolling brothers.
“The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter spokesperson wrote in a statement about the incident received by the Daily Beast and The Hill.
“Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service,” the statement read.
The Krassensteins, however, say that news of being banned had shocked them.
The brothers were quick to deny the allegations on their personal Facebook accounts and in joint Op-Eds with the Hill Reporter.
In their various postings, the brothers deny any allegation of boosting their accounts by purchasing fake followers or interactions, but do concede that they both operated numerous accounts.
But these accounts, the brothers said, were operated within Twitter’s terms of service and used individually for personal reasons or separate business dealings — never to mislead others or boost more popular accounts.
“We never ‘purchased account interactions,’ nor did we ever ‘sell usernames’ or buy usernames. We did operate multiple accounts, but there were only a few of them and they were not used to ‘mislead’ or ‘manipulate Twitter.’ If Twitter investigated this thoroughly they would clearly see this,” the Krassensteins wrote.
“We NEVER, and we want to make this as clear as day, ever bought or sold ANY Twitter accounts or interactions. We swear on our graves that this is 100% true,” they wrote.
The brothers then proceeded to release an open letter to Twitter through the Hill Reporter, in which they ask for a chance to prove the allegations false.
They also inquired as to whether it is possible their accounts were improperly flagged for banning due to a conspiracy by “far-right Twitter users” on sites such as 4chan or Reddit to report their tweets — or if Twitter caved to direct pressure from President Donald Trump to have the brothers banned.
“We can’t wrap our heads around what is going on. Did Twitter give into pressure from Trump and the right-wing media, so they decided to make up a bogus reason for banning us?” the Krassensteins asked.
As of this report, however, the brothers had not received any response to their theories, and Twitter hadn’t reinstated their accounts.
Brian Krassenstein has since responded once more, posting on his Facebook account Friday that allegations against his brother and him as “a FLAT OUT LIE.”
“I urge the media to PLEASE push Twitter for further details on our suspension and I give Twitter permission to release all details of any investigation they conducted,” Krassenstein wrote. “I want it all public.”
“I also want to preach a message of caring, anti-hate and honesty. Always remember that America is strong and truth and love will defeat lies, bigotry and hate in the long run,” he wrote.
“Out of the darkest days always spawn the strongest protest against tyranny and hate. Don’t lose hope in America’s resolve. Don’t give up.”
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