“Twitter has reinstated the account of Jesse Kelly, an Iraq veteran and senior contributor to The Federalist, just days after banning him from the platform without explanation.
On Sunday, the social media giant informed Kelly his account was being ‘permanently suspended’ for ‘multiple or repeat violations of the Twitter Rules,’ but didn’t cite any examples. Twitter’s apparent failure to give Kelly an explanation for banning him appears to violate the company’s own policies, which promise to ‘explain which policy or policies they have violated and which content was in violation’ to anyone hit with a ‘permanent suspension.’
The move provoked a wave of condemnation from Kelly’s friends and fans, as well as from some center-right figures who personally dislike him but were nevertheless concerned about the free speech implications…
‘The account was temporarily suspended for violating the Twitter Rules and has been reinstated,’ Twitter claimed according to BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel. ‘We have communicated directly with the account owner.’
Twitter’s reversal follows not only pressure from conservative media, but multiple members of Congress getting involved. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska called Kelly’s case a ‘bad precedent for our free speech society,’ while incoming Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri called for an investigation of whether Twitter targets political speech, which would violate its immunity from liability for the content it publishes.
Earlier Tuesday, an aide for the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee told The Federalist that the committee is reviewing Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s September 2018 testimony to determine whether he lied to Congress when he claimed under oath that ‘we don’t consider political viewpoints, perspectives, or party affiliation in any of our policies or enforcement decisions, period.’
‘Twitter has not yet provided responses to members’ questions for the record, despite an October 15th deadline,’ the aide added. ‘It is important that Congress receive this requested information to ensure we are able to properly perform our oversight responsibilities.’