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.
Bill Mitchell, suspended from Twitter trying to get around a temporary ban on his main account, explains he broke Twitter rules but didn’t know it pic.twitter.com/SRWpKVjucs
— Wayne Dupree Show (@WayneDupreeShow) August 15, 2020
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.
I don’t agree with Bill Mitchell on masks, but I also don’t agree with banning one side of a public policy debate Imagine if people disagreeing with the Surgeon General had been banned in February https://t.co/Y2TZiihG1K
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 15, 2020
How the hell did Bill Mitchell get banned from twitter?
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 14, 2020
The fact that Twitter has suspended a Verified Conservative Influencer with a National show like Bill Mitchell is ridiculous.. Everyone has a right to speak, even Alex Jones.. This idiotic Draconian censorship in America MUST END!
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) August 15, 2020
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.
Bill Mitchell was one of the very dumbest people on Twitter, with a brain capable of sending these messages to his fingers to type on his phone pic.twitter.com/wGZURm4y60
— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) August 14, 2020
Mitchell’s wasn’t the only popular account to fall on Friday, as ‘Tatiania 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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