Twitter bans accounts of Ukrainian activists — why?

On April 4 and 5, 2022, some Ukrainian Twitter users noticed blocking several accounts of Ukrainian military officers, journalists, activists, and volunteers. So they started to share the info about blocked accounts and tagged Twitter’s representatives. AIN.Capital asked many activists involved in communicating with Twitter and Facebook regarding a new wave of bans.

  • However, this wave was different because many famous Ukrainian activists’ accounts with many thousands of followers were blocked: for example, Melaniya Podolyak, the volunteer, Valerii Agieiev, one of the founders of the Pravonapoplavu podcast and journalist, etc.
  • People negotiating with Twitter about deblocking the Ukrainian users (and wanted to keep their anonymity) said that at least ten famous Ukrainians with many thousands of followers were banned on Twitter. During the war, Twitter and other social media are used for coordination and notification; such bans might have a very negative effect.

“We know that at least ten Ukrainian bloggers with a couple of thousand followers got banned, suspended, or got content warnings. Other bloggers noticed some claims from Germany (because Twitter always informs of the source of a claim),” affected users said.

  • Some of the accounts were already released from the ban. And reasons for that were very different: from messages falsely interpreted as threats to screenshots from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.
  • Twitter and other social media often have teams that control and cancel coordinated or wrongful bans. “In our opinion, in this situation, it is reasonable to create a special team for the Russian-Ukrainian war with a good understanding of the context and the ability to react quickly to its changes,” the activists say.