Political activist and writer Samuel Finkelstein (@CANCEL_SAM) has been suspended from Twitter after suggesting that seniors consider mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus and the associated risk when voting in person.
Finkelstein tweeted that polling places are a high-risk location for the coronavirus and added that seniors are the “most vulnerable population.”
He then advised Florida voters to consider mail-in ballots and linked to the Florida Division of Elections page which contains more information.
for context, he got banned for this tweet which is factual and may save lives. pic.twitter.com/PkqAOCec9f
— Gym Silverman (@jimesilverman) March 17, 2020
Some Twitter users claimed that Finkelstein was suspended for voter suppression and perceived his initial tweet to be dissuading seniors from voting.
However, others have argued that the second tweet where Finkelstein described how to get a mail-in ballot provided important context and showed that “he was definitely NOT doing voter suppression.”
Nomiki Konst, host of political talk show, The Nomiki Show, suggested that bad actors had mass reported Finkelstein’s account because it was “at odds with their political agendas” and that this mass flagging had triggered the account suspension.
Yesterday, Twitter announced that it will be ramping up its use of automated systems during the coronavirus pandemic as more of its staff work from home.
While Twitter said permanent suspensions will be subject to human review, the increased reliance on automated systems may cause Finkelstein’s appeal to be delayed.
The Twitter accounts of Niche Gamer and YouTuber Justin Whang were also suspended this month after being mass flagged by bad actors.
Both accounts were eventually restored but Niche gamer’s account was offline for several days before Twitter reinstated it.
Twitter has been contacted for comment.