Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee’s personal Twitter account was suspended without notice from the social media giant, he said Wednesday.
“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,” Lee tweeted.
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 began using the “Based Mike Lee” account in July 2022, drawing attention and speculation about who was behind the account. The senator’s office confirmed that he was behind the account in August.
Twitter could not be reached for comment. Several news outlets have reported that new company owner Elon Musk drastically slashed Twitter’s communications department, making contacting the company more difficult for both users and journalists. (RELATED: Elon Musk Plans To Give Pink Slip To 75% Of Twitter Employees: REPORT)
Other users have complained about Twitter’s lack of responsiveness to their concerns. Right-wing commentator Bill Mitchell recently alleged that he was unable to access Twitter Spaces, and that the company’s user support did not fix the issue.
A critic of big tech, Lee has urged federal agencies to take antitrust and other actions against social media firms. He proposed legislation in 2021 that would prevent companies from merging if their market share was higher than 33%, and he has pushed the Federal Trade Commission to take antitrust action against Facebook.
Other leading Republicans have faced Twitter suspensions, although most were before Musk took control of the company. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was repeatedly suspended for questioning the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, while Indiana Rep. Jim Banks was suspended for asserting that transgender Health and Human Services official Rachel Levine is a man.
Lee’s personal account was restored shortly after 2:30pm, again without explanation from Twitter, he said.
Musk later tweeted that Lee’s account was “incorrectly flagged as impersonation.”
This article has been updated to reflect that Lee’s account was restored and comment from Musk.