Late Monday afternoon, the social media giant Twitter temporarily suspended the account linked to the popular Christian satire website The Babylon Bee, accusing the sardonic outlet of “violating our rules against platform manipulation.”
Seth Dillon, CEO of The Babylon Bee, told Faithwire his website and its associated Twitter account “haven’t done anything” to violate the social media company’s rules.
“So it came as a bit of a shock that they’d suspend us,” he said. “Fortunately, they quickly reinstated our account and apologized for the ‘mistake.’ So we’re back on Twitter, at least for the time being.”
In a message to The Babylon Bee, Twitter said its systems erroneously flagged — and subsequently suspended — the satire site’s handle as a “spam” account.
As a result, the owner of the account was notified the handle could not be used “in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter.”
Despite the fact that The Babylon Bee’s account was reinstated soon after was suspended, Dillon went on to say he and his staff “share the concerns of others who’ve rightly observed that these mistakes tend to work in one direction.”
The kerfuffle with the faith-based website’s account came just days after some conservatives voiced concerns over the fact that one of Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-Calif.) former staffers holds a communications role at Twitter.
Harris, now the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, has vociferously called on Twitter to permanently suspend President Donald Trump’s account, which he uses as a primary means of communication with the public. While Twitter has not closed the president’s account, it has censored a couple of his tweets, claiming his language is “abusive” and “glorifying violence.”
Brandon Borrman, vice president of global communications at Twitter, said Nick Pacilio, who was Harris’ spokesperson from 2011-2014 before joining Twitter, “plays no role” in deciding what tweets are censored or blocked. Rather, Pacilio’s role is that of a spokesperson, announcing and explaining decisions after they’ve been made.
However, while Twitter has flagged tweets by Trump, the San Francisco-based company has allowed anti-Semitic, genocidal posts by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to go entirely uncensored. And when asked to explain the double standard during a recent Knesset hearing in Israel, a spokesperson for Twitter said the Iranian leader’s tweets signify a “commentary on political issues o the day.”
It’s worth noting, too, that in 2018, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted to New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen that conservative staffers “don’t feel safe to express their opinions” within the company.
After having their account restored Monday evening, the staff at The Babylon Bee took a satirical jab at Twitter and it’s CEO: