Late into the night on Tuesday, while most humans were asleep, Twitter went through and suspended thousands of mostly bot accounts from the social media platform. Consider it a purge if you will.
Conservatives around the globe are complaining — on Twitter of all places — that the platform is biased toward right-wingers and that Twitter is trying to censor conservatives. At least, that's what revenge-porn operator and Senate hopeful Craig Brittain and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, a Republican, believe.
#TwitterLockOut they just knocked over 2,000 of my followers out.— Craig R. Brittain for US Senate (R-AZ 2018)
Sad, pathetic - you're still playing these childish games,
Your internal staff thinks you're going a good job. You're not.
You're doing a terrible job, Twitter Safety/Support.
Huge anti-right bias on display.
#TwitterLockOut They claim it was to eliminate bots, but it's effecting thousands of accounts that aren't bots, like mine. Based on initial reporting, this only happened to #Conservatives which reveals Twitter's bias & pattern of #Censorship. https://t.co/zLBEbaovWq— Sal DiCiccio (@Sal_DiCiccio) February 21, 2018
Twitter told Verge, "Twitter’s tools are apolitical, and we enforce our rules without political bias. As part of our ongoing work in safety, we identify suspicious account behaviors that indicate automated activity or violations of our policies around having multiple accounts, or abuse.
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"We also take action on any accounts we find that violate our terms of service, including asking account owners to confirm a phone number so we can confirm a human is behind it. That’s why some people may be experiencing suspensions or locks. This is part of our ongoing, comprehensive efforts to make Twitter safer and healthier for everyone."
Twitter Support even tweeted out how you can protect your account and prove you're a real human simply by confirming your phone number and your email address. If you can not do that, then you were probably suspended or removed entirely.
Protect your Twitter account by enabling two-factor authentication. We strongly encourage it—and it only takes a few moments to give your account an extra layer of security: https://t.co/c7hff6NYrD— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 20, 2018
Phoenix New Times did not lose any followers, so it's at least good to know no bots follow us. At least for now.