Today U.S. Sen. Mike Lee revealed that his personal Twitter account has been banned by the platform, and his team wants to know why.
On Wednesday afternoon, Lee used his official Senate account on Twitter to reveal, “My personal Twitter account – @BasedMikeLee – has been suspended.”
“Twitter did not alert me ahead of time, nor have they offered an explanation for the suspension,” wrote Lee. “My team and I are seeking answers.”
My personal Twitter account – @BasedMikeLee – has been suspended. Twitter did not alert me ahead of time, nor have they yet offered an explanation for the suspension. My team and I are seeking answers. pic.twitter.com/1llVm4fVu3
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 1, 2023
Lee’s account was later restored, with Musk informing users that Lee’s account was falsely flagged for impersonating the Senator.
In response, the Senator offered a comedic thank-you to Musk.
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) March 1, 2023
This suspension of a Republican U.S. Senator may be the most high profile act of apparent censorship on the platform since it was acquired by African-American billionaire Elon Musk last year in a bid to restore free speech to the platform.
Since Musk acquired Twitter, scores of conservative accounts have been restored, though some individuals remain banned. Among those who Musk has not allowed to return are Infowars host Alex Jones and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.
Musk’s Twitter has also stood by its bans of other individuals, including the controversial music artist formerly known as Kanye West, and his Nick Fuentes, the podcaster who appeared alongside West during the artist’s appearance on Infowars.
As with previous suspensions, some Twitter users are questioning Musk’s commitment to freedom of speech following the ban.
— Catherine (@CatherineInFL) March 1, 2023
Why did @TwitterSafety suspend the personal account of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)?
Are you bringing back Old Twitter’s bogus censorship nonsense? https://t.co/PuIrWuOdgg
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) March 1, 2023
— Brett L. Tolman (@tolmanbrett) March 1, 2023
At press time, Twitter is yet to offer an explanation for why Lee was banned from the platform.
While Musk’s control over the censorship guidelines of Twitter remains a subject of discussion, this move comes one day after the Space X founder was chastised by a Chinese Communist Party newspaper for sharing information about the Wuhan lab leak theory.
Specifically, the paper used an idiom that is comparable to “biting the hand that feeds you” to warn Musk against spreading the theory.
This is a breaking news story and may be updated with additional information as it becomes available.