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15 Aug, 2020 02:21

Trump supporter Bill Mitchell, with over half a million followers, permanently booted from Twitter for ‘opposing masks’

Trump supporter Bill Mitchell, with over half a million followers, permanently booted from Twitter for ‘opposing masks’

Conservative pundit Bill Mitchell has been kicked off Twitter, saying his opposition to face masks first earned him a suspension, which became permanent after he unwittingly violated the rules by tweeting from a second account.

Mitchell announced his ban in a post on Parler on Friday, laying his Twitter handle to rest after accumulating more than 600,000 followers. Earning regular retweets from President Donald Trump, the account was a source of controversy, at times backing ‘QAnon’ conspiracy theories and voicing skepticism toward Covid-19, among other things.

“Twitter just suspended me for opposing masks. Who knows if I’ll ever be back,” Mitchell wrote, adding sarcastically “I’m sure their decision wasn’t political at all.”

He later elaborated on the ban in another post, saying he was originally given a seven-day suspension for a pair of tweets sent out some three weeks ago explaining why he “felt masks are medically dangerous.” The suspension was made permanent after he tweeted from a “very small secondary account,” however, flouting Twitter’s rules on “ban evasion,”according to a company spokesperson.

“To wipe out one of the top [pro-]Trump accounts months before the election is utterly preposterous and censorship in the extreme,” Mitchell said, adding that he was not aware he had violated any of the platform’s rules.

The high-profile expulsion made waves on social media, sending some outraged conservatives to dub the move “draconian censorship,” even those who said they disagreed with Mitchell’s more contentious views.

The pundit’s detractors had a different take on the ban, with one blue check celebrating that “one of the very dumbest people on Twitter” was now off the platform, while others compiled a list of ‘greatest hits’ from Mitchell’s handle.

Mitchell’s wasn’t the only popular account to fall on Friday, as ‘Titania McGrath’ was also given a temporary suspension, though the reason remains unclear. The parody persona, who dubs ‘herself’ a “radical intersectionalist poet,” was created by journalist and comedian Andrew Doyle, satirizing social justice activists with deliberately outrageous, but seemingly sincere, hot takes.

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