Twitter said it will verify the accounts of all politicians competing in congressional and gubernatorial elections in 2020, with verification beginning this week. However, this will not apply to accounts that have previously been suspended, like FL-21 GOP primary candidate Laura Loomer. According to Twitter, politicians that have been permanently suspended will not be reinstated, verified or labeled.
Twitter says it will proactively seek political candidates who have not been verified, and have not been previously banned, in order to verify them. A Twitter spokesman told Politico that the point of verifying all candidates was to ensure “a level playing field.” He did not appear to address the question of banned candidates.
The fact that Twitter will not verify or reinstate previously banned political candidates in the U.S. is a foreboding sign for potential political candidates in other parts of the world who have also been banned from Twitter.
Tommy Robinson and Carl Benjamin, two former candidates who ran in this year’s European Parliament elections, are also banned from the platform. Robinson is also banned from Facebook, which employs a similar policy against previously-banned political candidates.
All social media platforms are redefining their rules on political content ahead of the 2020 elections. Twitter has also announced that it will ban all political advertising on the platform globally, with exceptions made for issue-based ads.
Facebook has thus far resisted pressure to do the same, although the Democrats continue to demand the platform censor or “fact check” President Trump’s ads. Facebook is currently exploring new ways to restrict political ads, including limits on the number of ads a candidate can run at any one time.
Google-owned YouTube, meanwhile, has admitted to taking down over 300 of President Donald Trump’s political ads.
Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.