Twitter Says Account Suspension of Stefanik's Press Aide Was an 'Error'

Twitter Says Account Suspension of Stefanik's Press Aide Was an 'Error'
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) questions witnesses during a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 21, 2019. (Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

Twitter has restored the account of Rep. Elise Stefanik's (R-N.Y.) communications director after briefly suspending it in "error," although the press aide, Karoline Leavitt, insists it was a "purge in their ongoing effort to silence conservatives voices."

The account of Leavitt, who served as an assistant White House press secretary in the Trump administration, went offline on May 5, prompting Stefanik—her current boss—to accuse the social media company of "unconstitutional overreach" and of silencing "our voices and freedom of speech."
"BIG TECH on the MOVE! Twitter just suspended my Communications Director," Stefanik wrote in a tweet. "An unconstitutional overreach SILENCING our voices and freedom of speech. Republicans are united in fighting back against Big Tech’s tyranny. Millions of Americans will not be silenced!"

The account “was suspended in error,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Hill, adding that the move “has been reversed, and the account has been reinstated.”

Leavitt took to Twitter to announce that she's been "released from Twitter’s Conservative Jail," but pushed back against the notion that it was an accident.

"This was not an 'error,' as Twitter claimed. This was another purge in their ongoing effort to silence conservatives voices!" she wrote. "We cannot back down to Big Tech Giants! Our movement is too important!"

Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment about Leavitt's claim.

Speaking to Fox News, Leavitt suggested the suspension had something to do with her following multiple conservative accounts.

"The only reason I can think that Twitter would have suspended me is that I followed several Republican members of Congress and GOP activists at once last night, and within minutes, my account had been suspended," Leavitt told the outlet.

Stefanik, who was recently endorsed by Trump to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as the House Republican Conference chair, remained unconvinced that the lockout of her communications director was an accident.

Reacting to a tweet by CNN correspondent Donie O'Sullivan, who noted the Twitter spokesperson's "error" remarks, Stefanik wrote, "Why does this ONLY happen to conservatives?! Absolutely outrageous. Because Big Tech is corrupt. That’s why."
O'Sullivan remarked in a follow-up tweet that it "really doesn't help Big Tech's argument that they are not censors of the right when apparent errors like this happen."

Conservatives have long held that Big Tech is silencing voices of those on the right. In a recent case, government watchdog group Judicial Watch claims that Iowa state officials worked with Big Tech last year to censor posts related to the 2020 election.

Judicial Watch’s claim is based on 624 pages of records it received from the office of the Secretary of State of Iowa as a result of a June 2020 open records lawsuit (pdf) filed by the watchdog.
“These records are yet another example of state officials conspiring with Big Tech to deny Americans their First Amendment rights,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

Iowa officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.