Twitter blocked the account of Mariupol defender, a year after his death
Twitter blocked the account of the defender of Mariupol, patrol policeman Daniil Safonov, a year after his death, allegedly for violating the community rules. Now, Ukrainians are appealing for the restoration of the @daniil_donetsk account in honor of the fallen hero.
Who was Daniil Safonov
Daniil Safonov moved from Donetsk to Mariupol in 2014 after the Russian hybrid invasion of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine. He became a soldier of a separate artillery brigade and fought Russian mercenaries for 3 years. After that, in 2019 he returned to Mariupol and joined the patrol police.
Safonov defended Mariupol since the first day of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In his Twitter Daniil shared the details about how military men and civilians lived on the territory of the Azovstal plant, surrounded by Russian occupiers, and the course of battles for the city. He died on May 2, 2022, during a combat mission together with two comrades.
Suddenly, a couple of days ago, Daniil Safonov’s account on Twitter was blocked for “violating the community rules”. This is weird since Daniil made his last post about a year ago, before his death. What rules could the fallen hero possibly violate after a year since his death is yet unclear.
The blocking caused outrage among users, who accused Twitter of trying to cover up Russian crimes by deleting the evidence of it from social media.
The company didn’t respond to a single one of those tweets.
Daniil is not the only one who was blocked
Daniil Safonov’s account is not the only one blocked by Twitter recently. The account of fallen Hlib Babich @Hlibovy-Baiky was also blocked for similar reasons.
Hlib was a Ukrainian poet and author from Mykolaiv, blogger, volunteer, and participant in the Russian-Ukrainian war since 2014. He died on July 28, 2022, together with three comrades, as a result of an explosion on an anti-tank mini-vehicle of the “Loki” intelligence complex near Izyum, in the Kharkiv region.
His Twitter account is now completely empty, as well as Daniil Safonov’s.
Why is the company doing this?
In recent months, Twitter’s policies changed. On May 8, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced that the social media platform will remove accounts that have been inactive for several years. He said that the action is “important to free up abandoned handles.” But both accounts mentioned above are inactive less than several years, and the reason for blocking was “violating” some rules, however it is unclear which ones.
Since Elon Mask became in charge of Twitter, Russian propaganda entered a new golden era on the platform for spreading lies about the war in Ukraine. The company, which previously tried to fight misinformation by at least labeling Kremlin-backed media, now seems not to care about it at all, instead banning the voices of Ukrainians who struggle to convey the truth and disseminate evidence of Russian war crimes.
Is it the truth that violates Twitter’s policy, or what was the actual reason for blocking the account, which remained silent for a year?