The newest dirty trick in Twitter’s Anti-Conservative playbook is secretly tampering with a user’s account settings to limit their voice and exposure on the embattled social media platform and beyond, according to a vicious cease and desist letter to Twitter from news publisher True Pundit.
In a damning cease and desist letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and the company’s general counsel, True Pundit’s legal counsel Harmeet Dhillon confirms Twitter tampered with and changed the security settings of journalist Thomas Paine’s account on the evening of the recent “Twitter purge” without the journalist’s permission or knowledge.
Twitter hides all content from followers and the public once it deems a user as having “sensitive content” — normally reserved for pornography and terrorist accounts on Twitter — which in turn decimates a user’s impressions, traffic and profile visits. Twitter’s latest scheme will prohibit approximately 50 million people from reaching Thomas Paine and True Pundit’s content this month alone, according to the letter.
Such clandestine behavior is a new wrinkle from the social media giant who has openly waged its own war on conservative voices and Twitter personalities. And while upstart news publisher True Pundit has been engaged in a legal tug of war with Twitter spanning several months, the conservative news site released its recent cease and desist letter today publicly for the first time.
“We have been dealing in good faith and professional in all of our legal negotiations with Twitter and that includes discreet legal correspondences,” said True Pundit Publisher Thomas Paine. “But now after Twitter’s latest attack, we can no longer stay silent. It is time to shine a light on how Twitter has targeted our Conservative content.”
Dhillon, a former Republican National Committee deputy chairwoman from California, excoriated Dorsey in a letter today, alleging several damning infractions against Twitter and its personnel. Dhillon is also representing James Damore, who is suing Google for allegedly discriminating against him as a conservative white man.
Paine praised Dhillon’s legal prowess.
“She has guided our case against Twitter away from traditional First Amendment claims of censoring free speech,” Paine said. “There is no right to free speech on Twitter so instead Harmeet has crafted a number of other legal attacks against Twitter for violating state and federal laws that not even their own terms of service can shield them from.
“She is like True Pundit in many ways as we always think and operate outside the box.”
Dhillon’s 11-page letter is packed with troubling revelations on the part of Dosey’s Twitter and is the second letter to the social media platform in recent months on behalf of True Pundit, both alleging overall systemic account tampering and throttling by Twitter by a number of varied infractions and violations of law.
The latest complaint proves particularly chilling:
“On or around February 22, 2018, and until discovered by True Pundit on the evening of
March 1, 2018, Twitter designated the @Thomas1774Paine account as publishing “sensitive”
content on the Twitter platform. Twitter apparently did this by manually changing the
@Thomas1774Paine account’s security settings to represent that all content that the account
publishes is “sensitive.” Twitter provided True Pundit with no notice of this substantial change.
True Pundit, upon discovering this unauthorized and unnoticed setting change, reverted the setting,
such that the account is no longer marking published content as being “potentially sensitive.”
The full letter, which is included below, demands Twitter:
- Twitter must cease and desist all unlawful activities, as outlined above;
- Twitter must cease and desist disparately enforcing its Rules against True
Pundit, and cease its manual labeling of the entire account as “sensitive”;
- Twitter must ensure that its staff ceases its interference with True Pundit
for its compliant use of the Twitter platform; and
- Twitter must affirmatively clarify its policies, and the enforcement of such
policies, to no longer disparately enforce them against users with
conservative or politically right-leaning views.