Twitter is censoring criticism of the co-founder of the Black Liver Matter movement on its platform after people pointed out her hypocrisy when news of her purchase of a property worth $1.4 million broke out. The expensive home Patrisse Khan-Cullors bought is in a predominantly White neighbourhood and is reportedly one of the 4 properties she currently owns.
The social media account of Jason Whitlock, an African-American himself, was locked after he criticised the purchase by Cullors.
It turns out Whitlock’s was not the only account to be locked. Another account was locked for sharing an article about the incident.
Just got out of “twitter jail.” My offense? Posting an article about a Black Lives Matter purchase of a 1.4 million dollar home in Cali. The article didn’t list the address, just the city. I posted the article on Thursday. @WhitlockJason posted it Friday. He’s suspended too. 🤷🏽♂️— ScoonTV (@ScoonTv) April 10, 2021
According to Twitter, their accounts were locked because they posted someone’s “private information without their express authorization and permission”. The exact content of the article they shared is not known, therefore, it is not possible to determine whether the article contained any information that was not already publicly available.
Furthermore, it is not clear the extent to which such rules should apply to political leaders and Black Lives Matter is indeed a political movement. Therefore, the purchase of a property may be private information but it is in public interest to know when political leaders make outrageous purchases so that people can make informed choices.
Esteemed legal analyst Jonathan Turley opined, “The issue for me is not the house or claimed hypocrisy. It is the censorship of Twitter of such criticism. Cullors is a public figure who is subject to public scrutiny and commentary. Twitter is rife with a such criticism over the lifestyle choices of figures on the right ranging from Donald Trump Jr. to Rand Paul. That is an unfortunate aspect of being in a high visibility position. I would be equally concerned if criticism of Trump Jr.’s big game hunting exploits or Giuliani’s lavish tastes were censored.”