Twitter suspended the accounts of several Venezuelan organizations, officials, and media groups without any notice. The accounts of the Venezuelan Central Bank, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), public media, political leaders, and journalists were suspended this Tuesday.
REPORTEN ¿a quienes le suspendió su cuenta hoy?
⚠️VAMOS HACERLO VIRAL⚠️ pic.twitter.com/9ExWQ1Nntp
— ©halecos Amarillosᴳᴸᴼᴮᴬᴸ 🍀ʷAͤNͣOͬNͤYˡMͤOᵍUͥSͦⁿ (@ChalecosAmarill) January 8, 2020
What’s more, the accounts of the FANB Strategic Operating Command and Press Departments, the army, the navy, the National Guard, and the Aviation were also among the several accounts to be terminated without notice. Apart from officials and organizations, five media accounts including the ones belonging to the Presidential Press as well as the Press of the Mayor’s Office of Caracas were also removed.
A few notable individuals such as the Falcon State Governor Victor Clark, Freddy Bernal, and the FANB General Commander Jesus Suarez have also seen their accounts suspended.
The sudden onslaught of account suspension by the social media company garnered negative attention. Several Twitter users accused the company of curbing freedom of expression by implementing such archaic policies.
Alongside the aforementioned list of accounts, the country’s finance ministry, oil ministry, the National Center for Information Technology (CNTI), and the National Commission for Information Technology were suspended too. The Iranian television channel HispanTV also saw its account being suspended.
It is worth noting that Twitter says it can suspend any account if it is either hacked, used for spam purposes, exhibits abusive behavior, impersonates someone, or threatens someone. However, all the accounts that were suspended from Twitter didn’t obviously seem to fit any of the conditions that call for account termination.
“Alert! People of Venezuela, the oppressive government of the USA blocked the Twitter account for CEOFANB and others,” tweeted Remigio Ceballos, a military commander.
While Twitter generally discloses information about taking down accounts to prevent malicious activity, it didn’t do so in the case of the suspension of numerous accounts tied to Venezuela.