In big tech’s most recent censorship sweep on Friday, Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, claiming they violated the platform’s policies against harmful activity.
“The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,” a Twitter spokesman told NBC News. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
According to Twitter’s “Coordinated Harmful Activity” policy, violators who manipulate or propagate information that creates “physical, psychological, or informational” harm can be limited, prohibited from certain actions, and suspended.
“In order to take action under this framework, we must find both evidence that individuals associated with a group, movement, or campaign are engaged in some form of coordination and that the results of that coordination cause harm to others,” the website states.
Also suspended during the sweep was Ron Watkins, who runs the website 8kun, formerly known as 8chan. Techno_fog, an account dedicated to providing breaking news information about Flynn’s court case, was also purged.
The ban comes just days after Twitter placed a lock on Trump’s account on Wednesday, following a series of now-deleted posts that the company claims violated its Civic Integrity policy.
Facebook and Instagram also announced that they banned Trump from their platforms for an indefinite period of time beginning Thursday, citing Wednesday’s tumultuous, destructive events at the Capitol as one of the main reasons.
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote. “We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”