Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was briefly suspended from Twitter on Friday after users were greeted with the message “account suspended” and found his profile inaccessible. Portnoy has a following of more than 2.5 million people and the hashtag #FreeDavePortnoy started trending that evening followed by Twitter’s actions. His account was restored hours later but it is unclear why the platform banned his account in the first place.
“We’ve no comment at this time however the account you reference has been reinstated,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
Portnoy used his website’s weekly podcast account “BFFs With Dave Portnoy and Josh Richards” to talk about his account getting suspended and share a screenshot of the disabled account. The account wrote in a separate tweet, “you’ll want to tune into next week’s episode.” They also used the Barstool Sports account to tag Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a tweet about the suspension. The tweet included a picture of the two of them together.
Portnoy joins dozens of others who’ve been suspended from Twitter, including Rose McGowan, The Proud Boys, and former President Donald Trump. Even the New York Post was briefly suspended after sharing the Hunter Biden laptop scandal story.
Portnoy told Fox News that the “will of the people will be heard” through the #freeportnoy hashtag and that he was unsure of what led to the suspension. Numerous fans expressed their outrage towards Twitter’s Portnoy ban, including Town Hall senior editor Matt Vespa. “@Twitter what is this garbage!?” He tweeted.
Washington Free Beacon executive editor Brent Scher pointed out that the Portnoy ban might be harder on Twitter than booting Trump. While social media companies became popular for being public platforms with no censoring, they started using personal politics to censor free speech when they started making money off the platforms. They pick and choose what people say, and if you’re a conservative then there’s no place at the table. It is dangerous and cannot be tolerated.
GOP legislators have been fighting the war against Big Tech for quite some time now, including Rep. Jim Jordan who warned that the Democrats’ new Big Tech bills are going to make a bad situation worse. He talked about the need to break up Big Tech and the liability protection they have under Section 230, which is counter to what Democrats want. He said they would set up technical committees that aren’t subject to the advisory committee to be able to operate in secret for each business that will be covered.
“Do you really think the same party where Democrat members of Congress wrote a letter to the big carriers saying, ‘Hey, can you take Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, off your platforms?’ Do you really think they want the same thing we do?” Jordan asked.
He said that Democrats like the fact that Big Tech kicked the sitting president of the United States off its platform and continued censoring conservatives throughout the election season. We’ve already seen that Big Tech can collude with important people and keep critical information from the general public. Just look at Zuckerberg and Fauci.
If Twitter only reverses Portnoy’s suspension because of public outcry then their community guides are based on profit and politics – nothing else.