Twitter suspends anti-Trump stars the Krassenstein brothers for fake accounts
UPDATE: The article has been amended to include a clarification RT received from Ed Krassenstein.
Brian and Ed Krassenstein, the #Resistance heroes with a shady history of alleged investment fraud, were suspended from Twitter on Thursday for creating "fake and misleading accounts" and using "multiple accounts to manipulate Twitter conversations."
A new Twitter account purporting to belong to the brothers appeared shortly after their suspension, posting a screenshot of an alleged message from Twitter that said Ed Krassenstein's account was suspended for violating rules against "targeted harassment." That new account was itself suspended a short time later. In an email to RT, Ed Krassenstein has said the account did not belong to the brothers and the image it posted was fake.
The Krassensteins had been "operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions," according to a Twitter spokesperson quoted by the Daily Beast. "The Twitter Rules apply to everyone." The pair's politics – they were ubiquitous in #Resistance Twitter, so well-known for their hatred of Trump they were able to crowd-fund a children's book based on it – and their popularity (Ed had about 925,000 followers, while Brian had around 697,000) had placed them above the law in the past, according to their detractors.Also on rt.com President’s favorite Twitter meme-lord suspended over video of Trump SHOOTING CNN’s Jim Acosta
In an op-ed on their website, the brothers admitted to retaining multiple accounts, but denied that having ever broken Twitter guidelines, using the accounts for manipulation or buying and selling followers. The Krassensteins’ maintain that, apart from their personal accounts @EdKrassen and @Krassenstein, they managed the @KrassenCast account for podcasts and operated @kstein2020 and @FrankKern20 to track hate speech by those who had blocked their main handles. They also admitted that “on a few other occasions,” they used the additional accounts “as anonymous contacts for stories.” As the ultimate argument, they say they "swear on our graves that this is 100% true."
The twins' mass-reporting of memesmith Carpe Donktum caused his temporary suspension earlier this month, but the satirist took the high road upon learning his tormenters were toast, pointing out that platform access should be a right for everyone – even "the Idiot Twins."
Terrible Human beings Brian(@krassenstein) and Ed(@EdKrassen) Krassenstein have been permanently suspended from Twitter.No one should be denied platform access, even people that tried to get me banned.Bring them back @TwitterSafety— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) May 23, 2019
After they locked my account for 8 days and tried to get me perm banned for funny memes, I should be taking a victory lap... if I really didn't care about platform access and free speech.But I do.The answer to bad speech is more speech.#BringBackTheIdiotTwins— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) May 23, 2019
And Carpe wasn't the only one on the Right to call for the brothers' reinstatement.
I'll admit, I expected this perspective from more conservatives. Sad that all too many of us are tribal with our indignation. An open platform behooves conservatives because we have truth behind us. We should want every voice regardless of political leaning free to express here.— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) May 23, 2019
Freedom of speech covers the Krassensteins too That’s how freedom works— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 24, 2019
Not everyone was so charitable.
No matter how you feel about them, their truly Orwellian banishment is a stark reminder of the chilling effect that banning the Krassenstein brothers will have on free spe lol had you for a second— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) May 24, 2019
If one Krassenstein gets banned, does the other one feel his pain?— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 23, 2019
lol, Twitter just permanently banned the Krassenstein brothers. They join the dearly departed Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer in Twitter purgatory— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) May 24, 2019
And a few people admitted to reporting them.
I reported one for Brian a week or so ago— TheHammer (@iTheHammer) May 23, 2019
With rumors about their suspensions swirling, the brothers released a statement denying they had "acquired anything for the purpose of increasing our Twitter presence."
2/5 We have never once acquired anything for the purpose of increasing our Twitter presence. In fact, we avoided using any platforms residing outside of Twitter’s own technology to manage our accounts for fear we would be accused of using automated tools, which we have avoided— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) May 24, 2019
4/5 our house to take pictures of our homes. All of those interactions were reported to local authorities and the FBI. We also operated several business accounts registered to our same email address. Those accounts were registered with each businesses name. None of those accounts— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) May 24, 2019
5/5 were ever used for manipulative purposes as Twitter claims.We have requested that Twitter investigate our suspensions further and we are confident that they will see that their suspension was a mistake.— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) May 24, 2019
Twitter has recently booted a number of popular conservative accounts from its platform, including a clearly-marked parody account of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, even after CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the platform had been "way too aggressive" in enforcing its terms of service against right-wing users.
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