Twitter strikes again with their ongoing censorship campaign. First it was Milo, then it was Kassy. And now they’ve banned several accounts (some reports say hundreds of them) owned by the Venezuelan government. And needless to say, the country’s outspoken dictator, President Nicolas Maduro, isn’t exactly thrilled. (Reuters)
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday said Twitter was an “expression of fascism” after accounts linked to his government were suspended, accusing the U.S. company of persecuting his followers.
One of the Twitter accounts suspended belonged to Radio Miraflores, a station set up by Maduro that broadcasts from the presidential palace, including a salsa music program the president hosts.
“Twitter in Venezuela today deactivated thousands of people’s accounts,” Maduro said at televised rally. “Simply for being ‘Chavistas,'” he said, using the term for followers of his predecessor, late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
Chavez was a pioneer among politicians in the use of Twitter, gathering millions of followers and frequently announcing news on the platform. Even today, Chavez’s 4 million followers beat Maduro’s 3 million.
Twitter isn’t commenting on it so far, but a few of the listed accounts were indeed suspended when I checked. One of them is the Twitter feed for the state-run television network, @miraflores_TV. Supposedly it tweeted out something either derogatory or threatening toward Vice President Mike Pence. Others were supposed to be involved in similar propaganda.
Maduro is claiming that it’s a purge of “Chavistas” but that’s a bit of a stretch. Also, if they were really involved in that sort of a purge wouldn’t they have taken down the President’s account first? Yet Maduro’s account is still up and active. I follow him myself, though he tweets exclusively in Spanish and I generally have to use the somewhat lame Bing translate function to read them. He retweets some interesting and ironic things at times in case you want to check it out. Take for example this retweet of Mario Silva.
" Esta batalla no se gana violencia contra violencia o fusil contra fusil, esta batalla se gana con votos y con pueblo" Nicolás Maduro. pic.twitter.com/rELc8loiIo
— Mario Silva (@LaHojillaenTV) June 17, 2017
Roughly translated, Maduro is retweeting Silva quoting Maduro.
“This battle is not won against rifle gun or violence against violence, this battle is won with votes and people”
– Nicolas Maduro.
As I said, it’s an interesting quote to choose from the guy who is sending out his militias to beat down and occasionally murder protesters, not to mention being the side in the battle that has all the guns. But then, Maduro’s relationship with the truth has always been a bit on the fast and loose side.
Will Maduro get the rest of his accounts reinstated? Stay tuned. He’s clearly not a conservative so I’m frankly shocked that they dropped his other accounts to begin with.