Several prominent—and predominantly liberal—Twitter accounts have had major issues this week, but no one really seems to know why.
Dean Baker, the senior economist at the Center for Economic Policy and Research, had his account suspended Thursday. He said Twitter claimed in an email that he had violated the platform’s spam rules.
“I have no idea,” Baker said, when asked why he was suspended. He appealed the suspension, and his account was reinstated, but his follower count had dropped precipitously, from about 67,000 to 400, although the number has grown.
Baker’s work is not political—economic research is numbers-driven and neutral—but he noted he makes the occasional joke about Twitter owner Elon Musk and has written about repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects platforms from liability over what people post.
Andrew Lawrence, founder of the left-wing blog Media Matters, also had his account temporarily suspended Thursday for “spam.” Although his account was reinstated within an hour, he told reporter Ben Collins he had “no idea why I was suspended.”
Other major users have also been having issues on Twitter. HuffPost reporter Nathalie Baptiste posted a screenshot of her notifications tab, which said she had none.
On Wednesday, The Nation tweeted at Musk directly, saying the outlet’s reporter Joan Walsh’s account had been hacked. “She’s contacted @TwitterSupport at least a dozen times—no answer,” The Nation said.
Since Musk’s chaotic takeover of Twitter, the company has been rife with controversy and problems. Musk immediately fired most of the top executives and the entire board of directors, followed soon after by nearly half the workforce. The remaining employees are leaving in droves.
Many accounts that had been suspended for spreading disinformation or inciting violence—such as former President Donald Trump’s and the personal account for Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene—have been allowed back online. Twitter also dropped its Covid-19 misinformation regulations on November 23, without fanfare.