This week, yet another conservative was locked out of Twitter in what the company eventually said was a mysterious case of “incorrect enforcement action,” causing any reasonable person to wonder why this bizarrely-frequent event never seems to happen to those who dutifully toe the leftist line.
This time around, it was Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) who logged into Twitter to find that she had received a weeklong ban from the social media site. Boebert, the outspoken freshman lawmaker who made headlines when she expressed a desire to bring her Glock to the Capitol, posted news of her suspension to Instagram.
The ban seemed to come from this tweet, which Boebert posted on January 9: “Hillary must be pissed it took the DNC until 2020 to successfully rig an election.”
In remarks to The Hill on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Twitter said that the moderation team “took the incorrect enforcement action” in response to the tweet. They reinstated Boebert’s account and slapped a warning label on the offending tweet.
“The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” the spokesperson said.
In one of her first tweets back, Boebert warned of the social media site’s unchecked power: “Twitter randomly shut my account down with no explanation. They do this to thousands of conservatives every single day. When the press reported the ban, it was lifted. What about the thousands of Americans who have been banned and are never heard from again?”
Exactly. What about the thousands of Americans who, once their microphone is turned off at Twitter, have no recourse (other than the local barbershop or yelling out the window) when it comes to making their voice heard?
These social media sites are the modern-day equivalent of the public square, and it is essential that the custodians of that square affirm their unqualified commitment to free speech and the whole of the First Amendment. Sure, they’re private companies. But as long as they’re using the government-constructed hallways of the internet, taking subsidies from the government, and working hand-in-hand with the government, they aren’t completely private. And if they want to keep operating in this quasi-monopolistic way that the government has thus far tolerated, they damn sure need to be operating within the proud confines of the Constitution.