Twitter has locked The Daily Citizen out of its Twitter account over an alleged violation of Twitter’s rules against “hateful conduct.” The tweet in question links to a story written by The Daily Citizen and includes a brief quotation from the article (which you can read in full here).
The Daily Citizen is not able to access its Twitter account until it deletes the original tweet, even though Twitter has already removed the post and replaced it with a notice stating that the “tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.”
The linked story from The Daily Citizen was published on January 19 and is titled, “Biden to Nominate Controversial Transgender Doctor for Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary.” Numerous other media outlets similarly reported on the story.
Paraphrasing from the first paragraph of the story, the apparently controversial tweet said, “On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced that he had chosen Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of HHS. Dr. Levine is a transgender woman, that is, a man who believes he is a woman.”
In an email to The Daily Citizen, Twitter wrote, “Hi The Daily Citizen, your account, @FocusCitizen has been locked for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against hateful conduct. You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
“Please note that repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account,” the email warned. “Proceed to Twitter now to fix the issue with your account.”
Upon doing so, Twitter prompts The Daily Citizen to “Remove [the] tweet.”
The only other option given to The Daily Citizen was to appeal the decision.“If you feel that your account has been locked in error, you can appeal by contacting our support team,” Twitter said.
The Daily Citizen promptly appealed the decision and authored a letter to the company defending the tweet and article in question.
“We are writing to appeal Twitter’s decision and contend we have operated within your organization’s regulations,” The Daily Citizen wrote.
Referring to Twitter’s allegation that The Daily Citizen violated its rules against “hateful conduct,” we replied, “We did nothing of the sort… The tweet pointed to an article at our news outlet, The Daily Citizen, explaining the appointment and Dr. Levine’s controversial history in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as Pennsylvania’s Health Secretary.
“Numerous outlets reported on Levine’ appointment – including President Biden’s White House – noting Dr. Levin’s transgender identification. Many of the articles and tweets explained that Dr. Levin was born male, believed he is really a woman, had surgery and opposite-sex hormones, and now identifies as a woman.
“Our tweet does not ‘promote violence against, threaten, or harass’ Dr. Levin.
“Yet, we are deeply puzzled about how it was misconstrued to do so. Nowhere in our tweet or article did we encourage such action. As a Christian organization, we would never do so. We simply explained to our readers the appointment and defined what transgender women are – those born male who believe they are a woman, regardless of whether they have had opposite-sex hormones or surgeries.
“We believe Twitter’s blocking of this tweet and lockdown of our account discriminates against Focus on the Family’s The Daily Citizen on the basis of our religious affiliation.
“The Daily Citizen contests Twitter’s characterization of our message and appeals this decision.”
Following our appeal, Twitter responded, “Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision…
“In order to restore account functionality, you can resolve the violations by logging into your account and completing the on-screen instructions.”
The Daily Citizen is not the only one to have been targeted for tweeting about the story. Conservative commentator Michael Brown wrote in the Christian Post that he was locked out of Twitter for 12 hours with no option to appeal for commenting on the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine.
Additionally, this is not the first time The Daily Citizen has been censored by a big tech behemoth.
In October 2020, Facebook censored The Daily Citizen over an article on masks regarding a story which was also covered by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
And just earlier this month, YouTube removed a video of The Daily Citizen’s live coverage of former President Donald Trump’s rally in Dalton, Georgia over remarks the president made on voter fraud. Yet, dozens of other full-length videos of the president’s rally could be found on the platform.
At this point, The Daily Citizen has two options. Either accede to Twitter’s tyrannical demands and delete a factually true tweet or refuse to bow under pressure and continue to be locked out of our account indefinitely.
Either way, free speech loses.
You can follow this author on Parler @ZacharyMettler