Twitter permanently suspended the accounts of Ed and Brian Krassenstein — progressive political activists famous for trolling Donald Trump and his supporters — with the company alleging the brothers used bogus accounts to amplify their reach on the platform.
“The Twitter Rules apply to everyone,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”
The brothers denied they broke Twitter’s rules, claiming that they never purchased fake accounts or engaged in fake account interactions.
“If Twitter wants to ban us for having multiple accounts then that’s their right,” Ed Krassenstein wrote in a post Friday on Facebook. “Our multiple accounts did not break any of Twitters terms, but it’s their right to ban whoever they want. What they shouldn’t be doing is smearing our names over and over again by claiming that we ‘purchased account interactions.'”
Ed Krassenstein had more than 925,000 followers on Twitter and Brian Krassenstein had nearly 700,000 when their accounts were suspended Thursday, according to SocialBlade.
Meanwhile, Twitter has repeatedly defended its decision to not suspend President Trump’s account, despite critics pointing out that Trump has violated its policies against violent speech and bullying in several instances. Without mentioning Trump by name, Twitter said in a blog post last year that political figures “play a critical role” in public conversations “because of their outsized impact on our society.”
Twitter’s ban of the Krassenstein brothers was first reported by the Daily Beast.
In 2016, the Krassensteins’ Florida residence was raided by federal agents, who seized documents and computers and froze most of the brothers’ assets. In a blog post in March 2018, the brothers said the feds suspected them of being part of a “$500 million fraud ring being run by an organized crime syndicate in Russia” by promoting “scams” on their websites, Moneymakergroup.com and Talkgold.com. The Krassensteins were not charged with any crimes and have insisted they did nothing wrong or illegal.