The Krassenstein brothers, twins Brian and Ed, gained fame across Twitter for their efforts to lead the "#Resistance" against Donald Trump.
Now the two have been permanently banned from the platform for allegedly breaking the site's rules against operating fake accounts and paying to boost their posts through fake interactions. As The Daily Beast reported, the two had become fixtures of the anti-Trump movement and gained a reputation for responding almost immediately to Trump's tweets. Combined they had more than 1.6 million followers, and were frequently re-tweeted by other prominent members of the anti-Trump movement.
On Thursday, Twitter released a statement claiming that they were using multiple fake accounts and purchasing interactions. Conservative online troll Jacob Wohl, who gained fame on the opposite side of the political spectrum as the Krassenstein brothers, had recently been banned from Twitter for the same reason.
The Krassenstein brothers have now responded to the charges. In an op-ed on Hill Reporter, where the two are co-founders and contributors, they categorically denied the allegations from Twitter and said they operated separate accounts only to track threats against them.
They also expressed confidence that Twitter would overturn the ban after reviewing the situation.
"We have long defended Twitter's actions of banning and suspending users, and our stance still remains the same. Twitter, as a private company, has every right to ban whoever they choose, including us," they wrote. "We would, however, appreciate that Twitter reviews our suspension and issues a correction in regards to their comments about us buying or selling Twitter accounts or interactions. This is 100% false, and if Twitter believes they have evidence to prove otherwise, we ask and encourage them to release these details to the media."They noted that Wohl reached out to them after the ban from Twitter, saying they should "ban together" and fight censorship. But Wohl also appeared to be trying to take credit for having them banned, which the brothers dismissed as baseless boasting.
Twitter had come under attack from some conservatives for what they felt was censorship aimed at the right after several prominent far-right figures were banned from the platform. In many of these cases, the offending parties had used the platform to promote harassment of political enemies or hate speech. The case of the Krassenstein brothers appeared to be different in that Twitter said they were suspended not for the content of their tweets, but rather the tactics used to boost their messages.