Conservatives are up in arms over alleged “censorship” of a Twitter account promoting the anti-abortion movie Unplanned. The account was apparently blocked by Twitter, but then reinstated. As is often the case when a blocked account gets reinstated, it mistakenly displays its follower account as zero and takes some time before it regains its usual followers.
Welcome to conservative Twitter, where every single glitch on the site is treated as a sooper-sekret conspiracy pic.twitter.com/hrSN5VbdZP— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 1, 2019
Willing to bet that this did not get 60k follows in 20 minutes. More likely, Twitter was restoring follows after the glitch. This happens sometimes, people. It's not a conspiracy. pic.twitter.com/jJnTV51u2h— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 1, 2019
But naturally, it goes from that to "it won't let me follow them!" which is a lie.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) April 1, 2019
Sometimes this glitch happens when:
a.) you temporarily deactivate your account
b.) your account gets locked or suspended for some reason
c.) just at random, but it *does* fix itself on its own pic.twitter.com/AmKtPtet9b
The process is glitchy, to be sure. These glitches are not, as several prominent conservatives allege, evidence of some dastardly conspiracy by big tech companies to “silence” a movie that’s only appearing on a handful of screens nationwide.
Still, high-level Republicans including Trump’s ambassador to Germany and GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw were more than happy to add their voices to the chorus of conspiracy theorists insisting Twitter was up to no good.
This bias has to end, @jack. When you deliberately attempt to silence one side of the argument, you create resentment. When you create resentment, you make our country’s divisions even worse. https://t.co/4LvIQTs57p— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 1, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence, decided to take a different tack, praising the film in a tweet.
So good to see movie theaters across the country showing @UnplannedMovie -- a deeply inspiring new pro-life film based on the best-selling book by @AbbyJohnson. More & more Americans are embracing the sanctity of life because of powerful stories like this one. #Unplanned— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 1, 2019
The account repaid Pence’s kindness by tweeting out a QAnon hashtag and slogan, WWG1WGA, which stands for “Where we go one, we go all.” (They tweet was later deleted with no explanation.)
A Twitter account for an anti-abortion movie (@UnplannedMovie) was promoted earlier today by the official account of the Vice President of the United States (@VP)— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 1, 2019
The account is now tweeting out slogans for the lunatic Qanon conspiracy theory (WWG1WGA) pic.twitter.com/je2GXykh6b
Obviously, this isn’t the first time someone in the White House has promoted accounts affiliated with the bizarre conspiracy theory, which claims high-profile Democrats are behind a massive child trafficking ring and will be brought to justice by Trump. The president himself has hosted a QAnon true believer in the White House and retweeted QAnon accounts several times.
One reason this keeps happening is because the distinction between the fever swamp fringes of the conservative movement and the mainstream of Republican politics has almost completely eroded. The GOP response has been to either ignore or downplay the spread of conspiracy theorists in their ranks or to court their support. (After all, it seems to have worked out for them with the birther-in-chief in the Oval Office, at least for now.)
The few times they do manage to call out the fact-free ravings of the QAnon crowd and others, they still can’t bring themselves to denounce the conspiracy theories that fuel them.
Whoever tweeted the QAnon stuff is garbage.— Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) April 1, 2019
That said, that doesn't change the fact Twitter was playing games with that account. These journalists never mentioned that once. https://t.co/bV92jUogJW