Elise Stefanik Aide Blasts 'Tyrannical' Twitter After Ban Error

Republican congresswoman Elise Stefanik's communications director has hit out at social media censorship after Twitter temporarily suspended her account.

In an email to Newsweek, Stefanik (R-NY) aide Karoline Leavitt said Twitter's suspension of her account was "another example of their tyrannical censorship." The platform has said the suspension was an error.

Leavitt also said Republicans had been "screaming from the rooftops" about tech censorship, particularly since Twitter moved to permanently ban former President Donald Trump in January this year.

In comments shared with Newsweek, Leavitt said: "Republicans have been screaming from the rooftops for months that if Big Tech can silence the President of the United States, they can silence YOU!

"Their suspension of my account, which they later admitted was made in 'error,' is another example of their tyrannical censorship, as they fundamentally believe conservatives do not belong in the public square."

A Twitter spokesperson said the ban was made in error and told Newsweek that the account had been reinstated. The firm added that Leavitt's follower count would be restored within the next two days.

At the time of writing, the aide's account following has been reduced to 153 followers as a result of the temporary ban. It is not clear what prompted the suspension.

The Republican lawmaker's office suspect it was a result of Leavitt posting a blog by former President Trump.

Reacting to her aide being suspended, Rep. Stefanik tweeted: "BIG TECH on the MOVE! Twitter just suspended my Communications Director. 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!"

Twitter suspended a handful of accounts that posted press releases and blogs from Trump on Wednesday night, citing its rules against ban evasion. The former president was banned from posting on Twitter after the violent Capitol riot on January 6.

In a statement regarding those accounts being suspended, a Twitter spokesperson told Newsweek: "As stated in our ban evasion policy, we'll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account."

Twitter's ban evasion policy says that the social media giant will suspend other accounts it suspects are held by a user who has been permanently banned for violating the terms of use.

"You can't circumvent a Twitter suspension, enforcement action, or anti-spam challenge," the rules say. "This includes any behavior intended to evade any Twitter remediation, such as creating a new account or repurposing an already-existing account."

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
Rep. Elise Stefanik questions Secretary of Defense Mark Esper during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on July 9, 2020. Greg Nash-Pool/AFP via Getty Images