Sen. Mike Lee had his personal Twitter account inadvertently suspended Wednesday after it was flagged by the social media company as a fake, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
“My personal Twitter account – @BasedMikeLee – has been suspended. Twitter did not alert me ahead of time, nor have they yet offered an explanation for the suspension. My team and I are seeking answers,” Lee (R-Utah) wrote in a tweet posted on his Senate account.
Before the suspension, it didn’t appear as if Lee posted any content on his personal account that violated Twitter policies, raising suspicions.
Republicans on the social media platform sprung into action and immediately alerted Musk about the strange ban.
“Hey @elonmusk – you suspended U.S. Senator @BasedMikeLee. Why?” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said in a tweet.
“Here we go again…@Twitter, why is my colleague @BasedMikeLee locked out of his account? #FreeLee,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) asked Twitter.
The answer came from Musk about two hours after Lee’s account was suspended.
“His personal account (@BasedMikeLee) was incorrectly flagged as impersonation, which is not totally crazy, since it is based,” the Twitter CEO said.
Lee’s personal account was eventually reinstated. He celebrated with a string of Gen-Z speak and by thanking the world’s richest man.
“No cap! Bussin’—forreal, forreal. Thanks, @elonmusk. Time for this classic to make an appearance,” Lee wrote, sharing an altered image of himself wearing pixelated sunglasses made popular in memes.
The social media giant has faced accusations of censorship, particularly by conservatives, since the company barred distribution of The Post’s bombshell October 2020 expose of Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings just weeks before the 2020 election.
Twitter claimed, without evidence, that the reporting violated its “hacked materials” policy.
After Musk took over the company, he allowed select journalists to view Twitter’s internal communications, in releases dubbed the “Twitter Files,” which revealed dozens of FBI and government employees actively sought to censor users for their viewpoints, including for obvious jokes and criticism of Democrats.
The “Twitter Files” also showed that the company suppressed the tweets of right-wing commentators and anti-COVID lockdown advocates by “blacklisting” their accounts, limiting the visibility of their tweets.
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