Twitter’s recent wave of mass suspensions hurt Republicans while the vast majority of Democrats gained followers, an analysis of the data showed.
Out of all 45 Democrats in the Senate, only two lost followers in January while the rest gained thousands. The majority of Republicans, however, lost followers during the same period, according to data from the social media analytics website SocialBlade. The discrepancy was first reported by the New York Post.
Overall, 68% of Republican Senators lost followers in January compared to 0.04% of Democratic Senators. Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham lost the most followers out of the group, dropping 117,569 followers in January. Other Republican Senators lost tens of thousands of followers, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who lost 56,237 followers; Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who lost 85,818 followers; and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who lost 77,238 followers.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also had a major drop in followers – he had lost 45,820 followers as of Jan. 19. (RELATED: Texas AG Launches Investigation Into Big Tech’s ‘Biased Policies’ After Trump’s Twitter Ban)
New York Senator Chuck Schumer gained the most followers out of the Democrats, with 159,068 new followers in January. Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with the Democrats, gained 347,151 followers during that same period.
The only Democrats who lost followers were Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who lost 1,399 and 1,646 followers, respectively.
Twitter began cracking down on conservative accounts after a Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer. Nearly all social media platforms – including Twitter – banned Donald Trump, arguing that he incited the violence.
A massive purge of conservative Twitter accounts followed Trump’s ban. Twitter told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the accounts were suspended due to violations of their policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity.
“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” a Twitter spokesperson told the DCNF.
Twitter also said in a statement that they purged over 70,000 accounts, although many prominent Twitter users reported losing much more than 70,000 followers.