Elon Musk's Twitter Brings Back Right-Wing Users Amid Suspensions
Self-anointed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk ― whose Twitter platform has suspended several journalists, including those from The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post ― reportedly brought back conspiracy theorists, election deniers and COVID-19 misinformation peddlers to his social media platform on Friday.
A dozen right-wing accounts were reinstated just a day after Twitter suspended a host of accounts belonging to journalists who have written about Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, Media Matters for America reported.
Musk claimed that journalists disclosed his “exact real-time location” through posts on the public flight-tracking Twitter account @ElonJet; however, reporters in a Twitter Spaces chat confronted Musk for falsely claiming they’d shared his information rather than reporting on the account suspensions.
The Twitter CEO later abandoned the chat after The Washington Post’s Drew Harwell pressed him on targeting the journalists.
The right-wing accounts that have been restored had initially been suspended or banned in roughly the last two years. On Friday, the account owners patted Musk on the back for their reinstatements.
Pillow salesman and conspiracy theory pusher Mike Lindell returned to Twitter on Friday after being permanently banned in January 2021 for his claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
Lindell, who tried to return to Twitter in May, wrote “I’m back!!” Friday, then continued his years-long rant alleging that U.S. election security had been undermined.
“Thank you @elonmusk and by the way MELT DOWN THE ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES AND TURN THEM INTO PRISON BARS!” Lindell wrote.
I'm back!! Thank you @elonmusk and by the way MELT DOWN THE ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES AND TURN THEM INTO PRISON BARS!
— Mike Lindell (@realMikeLindell) December 16, 2022
Other returning users included Mindy Robinson, a QAnon backer and a former GOP congressional candidate in Nevada; Jaden McNeil, a white nationalist live-streamer who was at the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol; Emerald Robinson, a former Newsmax journalist who shared COVID-19 misinformation on Twitter; and Wayne Allyn Root, a conservative media figure who spread falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election.
Guess who’s back on Twitter!
Comment below if I used to follow you so I can follow you back on here, it only showed 33 followers as of this morning instead of the 200k+ there was for whatever reason. pic.twitter.com/9WRvvUDBqG
— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@iheartmindy) December 16, 2022
I"M BAAACK! Liberal (ie communist traitor) heads get ready to explode! God bless Elon Musk. God bless President Trump. God bless free speech. And God Bless America!
— Wayne Allyn Root (@RealWayneRoot) December 16, 2022
Media Matters noted a number of other accounts that appeared to see reinstatements on Friday, as well.
The right-wingers’ reunions with Twitter come after Musk allegedly brought back high-profile Republicans to the platform, including former President Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in recent weeks.
HuffPost has reached out to Twitter for comment on the most recent reinstatements.