‘Mass censorship’ v ‘bot purge’: Twitterati split over alleged crackdown on conservative voices
The move, which has yet to be confirmed by Twitter has nonetheless been labelled an attempt at “mass censorship” by critics, is thought to be a bid to rid the platform of automated accounts – or ‘bots’ – set up to artificially amplify conservative campaigns online.
Some of the more rabid elements of conservative Twitter have reacted with incredulity, claiming they have lost hundreds of followers who, like them, have been targeted for their cutting-edge commentary and off-beat political polemics.
Apparently Twitter is trying to purge “Russian bots.”I do live videos and have my own damn picture on my profile.I’ve now lost 4000 followers.They love to call conservatives Nazis, well what the f*ck do you call this kind of mass censorship?#TwitterLockOut— Educating Liberals (@Education4Libs) February 21, 2018
Getting all kinds of reports that twitter is shutting down Conservative accounts on twitter claiming they are bots. Must be their way to purge Conservatives off of twitter. #Fascistshttps://t.co/XGZc6R8AhE— Nat Shupe (@NatShupe) February 21, 2018
Why did I just lose 100 followers? This is a damn joke. Twitter is absolutely censoring conservative and right wing speech for no damn reason other than their disagreement with it. But, liberals can write vile comments and threaten us with no punishment.BS. #TwitterLockOut— Mike (@mike_Zollo) February 21, 2018
Others on the left have likened the controversy to other infamous faux outrages of the past, such as the famously non-existent Bowling Green massacre – once falsely touted by the White House’s Kellyanne Conway.
Initial reports indicate the #TwitterLockOut resulted in the greatest loss of life since The Bowling Green Massacre.— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) February 21, 2018
So let me get this straight...People are angry that, computerized accounts, not even real people, were removed from Twitter , for not being real PEOPLE. & other people who lost Robotic followers think the Bots constitutional rights were violated?Is this correct?#TwitterLockOut— Sue The Stable Genius 🏇 (@suevee85) February 21, 2018
Much like #ReleaseTheMemo, another recent aberration from the social ether, #TwitterLockout has spread like wildfire, racking up around 87,000 tweets and trending worldwide since the so-called purge began.The phenomenon comes amid heightened fears of Russian influence on US elections. For some Twitter users the Russian influence is clear.
Apparently, Twitter banned thousands & thousands of Russian bot accounts tonight, and now all the Trump supporters are complaining that they're being "censored" since many lost a majority of their following… 😂 #TwitterLockout— William LeGate (@williamlegate) February 21, 2018
The #TwitterLockout is merely a purge of bots. You had ten thousand russian bots following you? The FBI literally concluded this was the most sophisticated online attack of the US. You should be glad. Have your own thoughts but don't pat yourself on the back for fake follows.— Darren Hayes (@darrenhayes) February 21, 2018
Conservatives are furious about losing fake Russian followers. They’re even going as far as to say it’s ‘censorship’. This is the funniest and most intellectually revealing thing since Trump stared at the eclipse. #TwitterLockout— Tommy Campbell (@MrTommyCampbell) February 21, 2018
With no official comment from Twitter on what, if anything, is actually happening, The Twitterati are showing no signs of dropping #TwitterLockout
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