Twitter claims it suspended the account of Rep. Devin Nunes (R- CA) on Tuesday in “error” after Nunes allegedly failed to complete the social media platform’s anti-spam filter. His account was restored shortly after.
Twitter said its automated systems blocked Nunes’ account in “error,” and that it has since reversed his suspension, according to a report by Business Insider.
“Our automated systems took enforcement action on the account in error and it has since been reversed,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “The enforcement action was taken as a result of the account’s failure to complete an anti-spam challenge that we regularly deploy across the service.”
NEW: Republican Representative Devin Nunes is suspended from Twitter… does anyone know what he did to violate the rules??? pic.twitter.com/OBTVzb6gfY
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) February 10, 2021
According to Twitter, Nunes was unable to successfully complete a reCAPTCHA — puzzles that require users to click on certain images to prove they are humans — which prompted Twitter’s systems to automatically block access to his account.
It remains unclear whether it had been a staffer Nunes himself who failed to complete the reCAPTCHA prompt.
Devin Nunes' official account was automatically suspended (now reversed) because the user failed an anti-spam challenge after Twitter detected suspicious activity — per @Twitter https://t.co/IKPCDwnvPi
— Dell Cameron (@dellcam) February 10, 2021
In a different, but similar situation, the account for the Young Conservatives of Texas organization was suspended last year for two days due to what the company claimed was a “spam filter” that is built into the platform.
The account was later reinstated after Breitbart News reached out to Twitter to inquire about the suspension.
“The account you referenced was mistakenly caught in a spam filter. This has been reversed and the account has been reinstated,” said a Twitter spokesperson at the time.
Last month, after several prominent conservative voices on Twitter reported having lost tens of thousands of followers on the platform, Twitter explained the phenomenon by claiming that it “regularly challenges” its users to confirm they are real.
“As part of our work to protect the integrity of the conversation on Twitter, we regularly challenge accounts to confirm account details such as email and phone number,” said a company spokesperson to the New York Post last month.
“Until the accounts confirm additional account information, they are in a locked state and do not count towards follower counts,” the spokesperson added.