Twitter on Aug. 18 extended an apology to the conservative satirical news site, The Babylon Bee, after the social media platform temporarily suspended the site’s account on Monday.
Editor-in-chief of The Bee, Kyle Mann, shared an email sent to the outlet by the tech giant on his personal Twitter account, detailing the reasons behind the suspension.
“Your account, TheBabylonBee has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically for: Violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” Twitter said in its e-mail to the Bee.
“You may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupt’s people’s experience on Twitter.”
News of the site’s suspension caused the hashtag #FreeTheBee to go viral on Twitter. The Bee’s account was reinstated less than an hour later.
We are back. Twitter destroyed our headquarters with a drone strike, but we are being assured it was an honest mistake.
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) August 17, 2020
Shortly after the satirical site’s account was reinstated, the publication ran an article poking fun at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, titled, “Let Me Be Clear: Twitter Is A Platform For ANY And ALL Ideas I Wholeheartedly Agree With.”
“Let me be very clear: I am a far-left progressive, in a company full of far-left progressives, in a city full of far-left progressives, in an industry full of far-left progressives,” Dorsey fictitiously tweeted in the satirical piece. “But Twitter is not just for people like me who dwell in liberal cocoons—no, Twitter is also a place for ANYBODY else who shares my opinions exactly.”
The outlet on Tuesday published another satirical piece poking fun at Twitter, titled, “Twitter Apologizes After Intern Accidentally Sets Coffee On ‘Destroy All Conservatives’ Button.”
In its emailed apology, Twitter told the conservative Christian humor site that its account was mistakenly caught in a spam filter.
“We’re writing to let you know that we’ve unsuspended your account. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and hope to see you back on Twitter soon,” Twitter wrote in the email, which was shared by the outlet’s Seth Dillon on the social media platform.
“We have systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk, and yours was flagged as spam by mistake. Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal.”
Twitter says sorry, they made a mistake. pic.twitter.com/ZsM3if2vfj
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) August 17, 2020
“There’s nobody to really call over there, and we find it is more effective to get the media swinging into action and get the word out,” Dillon later said, according to the Washington Times. “But the explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
Adam Ford, who created The Babylon Bee in 2016, said on Twitter Tuesday evening that the site had gained close to 100,000 Twitter followers since its account was reinstated.
So @TheBabylonBee has gained almost 100K followers since being “accidentally” suspended by Twitter yesterday 😂
— Adam Ford (@Adam4d) August 18, 2020
The Babylon Bee is among a number of conservative satire and parody accounts that have been suspended recently, including NPC Daily, Liberal Larry, Titania McGrath and Jarvis DuPont.
Richard Grenell, the former acting director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) under President Donald Trump, said on Twitter that the “TeamTrumpOnTour” account had also been suspended.
“@twitter suspended the Trump Tour Bus account after the Black Voices for Trump event and before the @LogCabinGOP event for gay Trump supporters in Las Vegas. Twitter won’t tell us why. Where is Congress? The media? Stop the election interference now!” Grenell said on Twitter.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 18, 2020
A Twitter spokesperson told CBS News that the account has since been reinstated, and that it had also been mistakenly caught in a spam filter.