New Twitter suspensions mark an early censorship test for social media platforms ahead of presidential elections in the US. Twitter suspended at least two accounts this week critical of presidential candidate Kamala Harris. The accounts posted videos of speeches Harris gave that were seen by many as deeply troubling. The accounts @WillisJermane and @Copmala can still be found in the internet archive.
One of the most shared videos from a suspended account was of Kamala Harris during a speech she gave at the Commonwealth Club in Northern California, a convention for rich people. During the video, she laughs about jailing parents of children who couldn’t make it to school.
In another video, she mocks people who call for money to go into education instead of prisons. Kamala Harris prefers locking more people up and building more prisons. To defend her position, she says no one has addressed the reason why she has “three padlocks on her front door.”
Matt Taibbi, a prominent journalist, and Walker Bragman, a journalist and illustrator, both said they had spoken with the person behind the @WillisJermane Twitter account and could confirm the individual was indeed a real person and not a bot. Experts believe the accounts were targeted for coordinated reporting on the behalf of the Kamala Harris campaign.
The twitter account @WillisJermane opened a case to appeal the suspension. In an email exchange, Twitter requested government issued identification in order to restore the account. The person who created the account explains he did not want to give Twitter his photo identification as he feared repercussions for his political activism.
The email exchanges between Twitter and the person running the @WillisJermane account are available in screenshots uploaded to Imgur by the account jermaneleewillis.
“Harris to Booker Save Our Care Rally U.S. Capitol” by Mobilus In Mobili is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0