It’s been nine months since President Joe Biden won the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but the acrid stench of the Trump administration’s corpse continues to linger. Now Twitter has finally thrown open some windows, permanently suspending eight accounts which baselessly pushed for the election results to be audited.
The bans are for reasons unrelated to their spread of dangerous misinformation and undermining of the American democratic system. Still, the end result is the same.
As first reported by BuzzFeed News, the suspended accounts include @arizonaaudit, @AuditWarRoom, @Audit_Arizona, @Audit_PA, @AuditGeorgia, @AuditMichigan, @AuditNevada, and @AuditWisconsin. As their names suggest, these accounts were focused on promoting the Republican-led election audit in Arizona, and pushing for audits to be performed in other states as well. In fact, @arizonaaudit billed itself the official Twitter account for the audit, and verified government officials had previously linked to it.
Now Republicans’ overactive sense of victimhood has a smaller audience, with Twitter confirming the suspensions in a statement to Mashable. However, the social media company also indicated that its decision to boot the accounts had nothing to do with the nature of their content.
“The accounts referenced were permanently suspended for violating the Twitter rules onplatform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesperson told Mashable.
Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam policy doesn’t address content issues regarding misleading election information — that would fall under its civic integrity policy. Rather, this policy stops people from operating multiple accounts with overlapping uses, and posting identical or substantially similar content across them. It wouldn’t matter if these audit accounts were posting civic process misinformation or the full text of The Lord of the Rings line by line. Under this policy, Twitter’s response would supposedly be the same.
Twitter declined to comment as to whether any specific incident sparked the suspensions. However, while at least @AuditWarRoom and @arizonaaudit had both been operating since May, a post on Audit War Room’s Instagram account indicated the other six Twitter accounts were only established last week. It’s likely this drew some extra attention from the big blue bird.
The Arizona audit has become a watchword for Trump supporters resolute in their dissociation from reality. The ballots from Maricopa County, Arizona have already been audited four times since the November 2020 election, including in a hand recount, a partial hand recount, and two further audits by accredited independent experts. Yet in March this year, Republicans hired private contractors to examine Maricopa County’s results for a fifth time, once more searching for any evidence of widespread election fraud.
That’s over $150,000, months of work, and a whole ton of energy that could have gone toward literally anything other than the political equivalent of hunting for monsters under the bed. But at least we won’t hear as much about it on Twitter anymore.