On Saturday morning we posted a brief compilation of recent events suggesting Twitter might be targeting conservatives, Is Twitter Silencing Conservatives?

The impetus Saturday was the suspension of Robert Stacy McCain’s account (@rsmccain).  McCain blogs at TheOtherMcCain.com and last February published a book, Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. 

That followed de-verification of Milo Yiannopoulos’s account (@Nero).  Like McCain, Yiannopoulos is a prominent critic of modern feminism and the Gordian Knot of accusations and recriminations known as “Gamergate.”  Oversimplified, Gamergate involves issues about the poor treatment of women in the gaming community.

The unifying factor is, apparently, that both stepped on feminist toes and Twitter seemingly took action against them.

After his personal account was suspended, McCain began tweeting with the account associated with his book (@SexTroubleBook) Friday night or Saturday morning.  In addition, the #FreeStacy hashtag trended briefly.  Some have suggested that Twitter intentionally suppressed #FreeStacy, but that is difficult to corroborate.

Now, @SexTroubleBook has also been suspended:

While some have suggested that the @SexTroubleBook account is a “sock puppet” or alter-ego account that should be banned along with the original @rsmccain account, that doesn’t follow.  McCain published his book a year ago, and the @SexTroubleBook account dates from that period:

McCain confirmed late this afternoon that his original account (@rsmccain) will not be restored.  Twitter says he is banned for “targeted abuse” but has not identified anything more specific.  The fate of the long-standing account promoting his book (@SexTroubleBook) is indeterminate, #FreeStacy: @rsmccain ‘Will Not Be Restored’; @SexTroubleBook Suspended:

Well, what is “targeted abuse,” what constitutes “participating” in this behavior, and what are the “rules around” it? Where is the evidence that I have been “violating the Twitter Rules”? Who was “targeted”? What was the nature of the “abuse”? Questions like this multiply, you see, if we can be permitted to ask questions of the arbiters of “Twitter Rules,” but that’s just it: No questions allowed!

http://theothermccain.com/2016/02/22/freestacy-rsmccain-will-not-be-restored-sextroublebook-suspended/

This raises several issues.  First, somebody at Twitter has apparently taken the time to identify McCain as an individual, link him to his book, and then suspend the book’s account as well.  The implication is that, second, Twitter is attempting to silence McCain, not just the allegedly offending @rsmccain account, and still without any satisfactory explanation for his suspension.

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We’ll see how long this lasts, but for now, follow Jonathan Levin on Twitter @JNLevin