Twitter has suspended multiple large Cuban media accounts for reasons the social media platform has yet to explain as of this writing, a move which journalist Dan Cohen has described as “the equivalent of silencing CNN, Fox, WaPo and NPR’s accounts” for that nation. The Union of Cuban Journalists has denounced the move as censorship.
Last month we saw Twitter suspend hundreds of accounts which it claims originated in mainland China for engaging in “covert, manipulative behaviors” against the Hong Kong protests, with Facebook and Google/YouTube following suit in the creepy, uniform coordination we’ve come to expect between these social media giants. In June of this year Twitter removed thousands of accounts it claims were associated with the governments of Iran, Russia and Venezuela, as well as 130 accounts reportedly tied to the Catalan independence movement in Spain. In May Twitter removed 2,800 of what it claimed were “inauthentic accounts originating in Iran.” Earlier this year, Twitter and Facebook coordinated with each other to remove hundreds of accounts they claim were tied to “coordinated influence operations” in Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.
Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Catalan independence movement. Noticing a pattern here?
Twitter just suspended the accounts of the biggest media outlets in Cuba and has given no reason. This is the equivalent of silencing CNN, Fox, WaPo and NPR’s accounts, but Cuba is a target of the empire so these arbitrary suspensions don’t generate outrage. https://t.co/0fgEiX8bjL
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) September 12, 2019
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the dynamics of empire, you will immediately recognize all of these purges as having targeted groups which are not aligned with the US-centralized power alliance. There have been no comparable mass social media purges of groups that are aligned with the US-centralized empire; a few accounts critical of Beijing were accidentally suspended from Twitter in June and replaced with a hasty apology, and a few Saudi bots were removed for defaming Jamal Khashoggi after his death, but that’s as close as you’ll find to any non-empire-aligned purge.