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Twitter suspends Big Tech critic for comment on Joe Biden and illegal immigrants

Third strike against Internet Accountability Project's Mike Davis, former judicial nominations counsel to Sen. Grassley.

Published: June 17, 2021 11:07am

Updated: June 17, 2021 7:52pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee lawyer who shepherded Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination for Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is accusing Twitter of a pattern of retribution for his advocacy of using antitrust law to rein in Big Tech.

The social media platform suspended Mike Davis Thursday for what he termed "a completely innocuous tweet" — the third such suspension under these circumstances in less than six months, and second in less than two weeks.

Davis tweeted June 12 that President Joe Biden "is making it easer for illegal immigrants to commit crimes — and just made it harder to stop them," according to a screenshot and statement by the Internet Accountability Project (IAP), which he founded and runs.

The group aims to "lend a conservative voice to the calls for federal and state governments to rein in Big Tech before it's too late."

It's not clear where the link in the tweet goes, but Davis's Twitter account — which remains live — shows a removed tweet on the same day.

Removed tweet from Mike Davis on June 12
Removed tweet from Mike Davis on June 12
Mike Davis/Twitter

The suspension notice from Twitter says the tweet violated its rules on "hateful conduct." It reads: "You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national orientation" or several other categories.

Twitter previously suspended Davis for a June 6 tweet that mocked Twitter for suspending another Big Tech critic for comparing CNN host Brian Stelter to "the Gimp" in the film "Pulp Fiction" and a Jan. 27 tweet calling on law enforcement to prosecute all who carry out political violence, specifically Black Lives Matter and antifa activists.

The June 6 suspension was a 12-hour ban on tweeting or liking tweets, while the Jan. 27 suspension prevented Davis from using his account indefinitely, though it was quickly reversed. The Thursday suspension is like the June 6 suspension, with the same alleged violation, meaning Davis should have his account back to full functionality by late Thursday.

He has consistently identified his suspensions as retaliation for his advocacy against Big Tech, and did so again Thursday.

"It's no coincidence Big Tech is attempting to silence one of their biggest critics as they work to kill bipartisan legislation to rein in their monopoly power," he wrote in the IAP statement. "Twitter's censors are completely shameless and will stop at nothing to quell political opposition to their abusive and anticompetitive practices."

The third suspension without basis is "not a 'mistake,' that's a targeted campaign to silence their foes," Davis said.

Another former Senate Judiciary lawyer for Chuck Grassley, Jason Foster, also called out Twitter for suspending Davis.

He is "a leading voice supporting bipartisan antitrust legislation in Congress. Related?" Foster tweeted. "Or is this tweet from 5 days ago simply expressing an unapproved opinion on this platform?"

Tweet URL

Twitter media relations did not immediately respond to a request to confirm it suspended Davis and explain how his tweet violated its policy.

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Removed tweet from Mike Davis on June 12
Removed tweet from Mike Davis on June 12
Mike Davis/Twitter
Tweet URL

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