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News is swirling early Monday morning about the weekend activity at Social Giant Twitter, the “public square of the internet,” with the update to one particular account for My Pillow CEO, Mike Lindell.
Lindell rejoined Twitter one year after he was banned the first time. Many people expected that because the account was added days after Elon Musk bought Twitter, everything would be safe – but Lindell’s account was suspended within four hours of “hitting the pavement” with his first tweet at the new digs.
“MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was banned from Twitter in 2021 for promoting unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election results were fraudulent, Twitter,” The Daily Mail reported.
The social media company said at the time Lindell’s tweets violated its civic integrity policy it implemented in September 2020 to fight disinformation online.
In Jan 2021, USA Today reported, “Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded bedding company MyPillow, because of “repeated violations” of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is aimed at fighting disinformation.”
It was not clear which posts by Lindell on Twitter triggered the suspension of his account. Lindell, a Trump supporter, has continued to insist that the presidential election was rigged.
The ‘Civic Integrity Policy” of Twitter updated from Oct. 2021, according to their site, as of today, reads:
You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. In addition, we may label and reduce the visibility of Tweets containing false or misleading information about civic processes in order to provide additional context.
The public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections and other civic events. Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression, the value upon which our company is based.
We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of those conversations from interference and manipulation. Therefore, we prohibit attempts to use our services to manipulate or disrupt civic processes, including through the distribution of false or misleading information about the procedures or circumstances around participation in a civic process. In instances where misleading information does not seek to directly manipulate or disrupt civic processes but leads to confusion on our service, we may label the Tweets to give additional context. Given the significant risks of confusion about key election information, we may take these actions even if Tweets contain (or attempt to contain) satirical or humorous elements.
What is a civic process?
Twitter considers civic processes to be events or procedures mandated, organized, and conducted by the governing and/or electoral body of a country, state, region, district, or municipality to address a matter of common concern through public participation. Some examples of civic processes may include:
Major referenda and ballot initiatives
Lindell rejoined the site on Sunday with a new account and, according to people who were participating with Lindell, the account grew rapidly.
Sources reported that within the first five minutes, Lindell gained over 20,000 followers and had more than 37,000 followers before his account was again suspended four hours later.
The Daily Mail reported, “But following the news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was taking over control of the company, Lindell created a new account on Sunday afternoon, writing: ‘Hello everybody, I’M BACK ON TWITTER.”
‘My only account is @MikeJLindell!’ he wrote in the tweet at 1:25 pm. ‘Please RT and FOLLOW to SPREAD THE WORD.’
The tweet also included a video of him apparently on a private jet, saying: ‘Hello everyone on Twitter, this is Mike Lindell. I’m here to tell you about my new account.’
He then cautioned his fans about fake accounts impersonating him.
‘So we started this account,’ Lindell said, according to Newsweek. ‘Please share it with everyone you know. Let everybody you know – so we can get the word out over here at Twitter in case they do take it down.
‘And thanks a lot for helping out.’
Within about five minutes, Lindell’s new account was followed by over 20,000 users, Newsweek reports, and he racked up more than 37,000 followers before his account was removed shortly after 5 pm.
A spokesperson for Twitter told Newsweek the account was permanently suspended for violating the platform’s rules on ban evasion.
“Under this policy, we prohibit a range of behaviors:
You can’t circumvent permanent suspensions. If an account has been permanently suspended for severe violations of the Twitter Rules, Twitter reserves the right to also permanently suspend any other account we believe the same account holder or entity may be operating in violation of our earlier suspension, regardless of when the other account was created.”
The move by Twitter appears to point to the need for Musk’s ownership in the first place, it is still not clear when Musk’s ownership will be in effect.