OP-ED: Krassensteins Respond to Twitter Suspension – by the Krassenstein Brothers
This evening we logged into our Twitter accounts (@EdKrassen, @Krassenstein & @KrassenCast (our podcast account) and received a message saying that we have been permanently suspended.
Logging into our email accounts we saw matching emails that read as follows:
“Your account has been permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-rules), specifically:
Fake accounts: You may not register or create fake and misleading accounts or use multiple accounts to manipulate Twitter conversations. While you may use Twitter pseudonymously or as a parody, commentary, or fan account, you may not use misleading account information in order to engage in spamming, abusive, or disruptive behavior, including attempts to manipulate the conversations on Twitter.
Selling Usernames: You may not buy or sell Twitter usernames.”
The first thing that went through our heads was that ‘this is some sort of mistake,’ so we contacted our main press contact at Twitter to inquire. All that the friendly woman was able to provide us with was their official press statement that had already been sent to other press outlets such as The Daily Beast and Fox News. It read as follows:
“The Twitter Rules to apply to everyone. Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”
The problem with these statements is that we never did any of this. We never “purchased account interactions,” nor did we ever “sell usernames” or buy usernames. We did operate multiple accounts, but there were only a few of them and they were not used to “mislead” or “manipulate Twitter.” If Twitter investigated this thoroughly they would clearly see this.
This is what we DID do:
- We, or immediate family members and/or business partners operated multiple Twitter accounts in a 100% non-manipulative or misleading way. These, however, ONLY included @EdKrassen, which is Ed Krassenstein’s personal account; @Krassenstein, which is Brian Krassenstein’s personal account; @KrassenCast, which is the official KrassenCasts podcast account; and two additional accounts: @kstein2020 & @FrankKern20, both of which were used specifically to track threatening tweets by others, targeted at us and/or our families (more on this below).
- In addition to this, we have run other Twitter accounts in the past for various businesses and projects, which we have not logged into for years. None of them were misleading or manipulative in any way. There was one Twitter account used named “Impeach Donald Trump” but we had deactivated it well prior to the suspension, and it was never used to deceive, mislead, or manipulate.
- We NEVER, and we want to make this as clear as day, ever bought or sold ANY Twitter accounts or interactions. We swear on our graves that this is 100% true.
The two Twitter accounts mentioned above (@kstein2020 @FrankKern20) were old accounts. One was 12 years old and was an account we had used to tweet about an old Android video game system called the OUYA when we ran a news site about the system. The other account was 2 years old and one of us used it on our phones to track threats that people who had blocked our personal and business accounts were making toward us and our families. The FBI is aware of these threats.
Over the past 2 1/2 years as our tweets became more and more political in nature, people began posting our phone numbers, our wives phone numbers, our home addresses, and photos of our homes, neighborhoods, and children. These users had blocked us and the only way to see Tweet-replies that they were making to others was to use another account. We were in constant communication with a contact at the FBI who we would send the threats that we had receive to. We had sent the FBI multiple death threats we had received in the mail, from people whom we believe got our address from others on Twitter. This is the primary reason we used these two additional accounts. On a few other occasions we used them as anonymous contacts for stories we were working on for this very publication regarding social media issues. Again we never used them to manipulate or mislead anyone.
Note: People might ask why we didn’t just use “incognito mode” to track threatening tweets. There is a simple answer. In incognito mode, you can’t view a user’s tweet replies, rather just their normal tweets. There would be large Twitter threads about us, and it was virtually impossible to track certain individuals who consistently posted our personal information, without having an account logged in that wasn’t blocked by these users.
We have long defended Twitter’s actions of banning and suspending users, and our stance still remains the same. Twitter, as a private company, has every right to ban whoever they choose, including us. We would, however, appreciate that Twitter reviews our suspension and issues a correction in regards to their comments about us buying or selling Twitter accounts or interactions. This is 100% false, and if Twitter believes they have evidence to prove otherwise, we ask and encourage them to release these details to the media.
There are all sorts of conspiracy theories spreading around Twitter as to what happened. One even involves Jacob Wohl, who happened to call us about 30 minutes after we were banned, telling us that we should “ban together” with him to fight internet and Twitter censorship.
Twitter User Molly Jong-Fast shared an image reportedly posted by Wohl soon after we were banned. There is little evidence pointing to Wohl, and he is known to try and take credit for any little thing he can.
It feels like Jacob Wohl is taking credit for the krassenstein ban. pic.twitter.com/0WVD4AGZLn
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) May 24, 2019
Others such as ThinkProgress founder Judd Legum seems to think that we are linked to a bunch of Twitter bots who attacked him for tweeting against us. This is absurd. Again I will reiterate that we have never used any automated services or bots, other than TweetDeck and Manage Flitter (about 3 years ago when the service was permitted by Twitter). Twitter should be able to verify all this as well.
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 24, 2019
There are others who think that Twitter is trying to make an example out of us, after President Trump has accused them of constantly suspending conservative accounts. We don’t buy into this. We simply hope that this was a mistake and believe that Twitter will investigate and hopefully correct it. If not, then we will still be active online. We have faith in Twitter doing the right thing.
We have both always stayed up to date on Twitter rules and were 100% sure to comply with them. That’s why all of this is so confusing.
Please take a moment to also read our OPEN LETTER TO TWITTER concerning our suspension on false allegations that we can prove are false.
In the meantime, you can find us both on Facebook at the links below:
Love you all,