Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters recently attacked Twitter for suspending the Unity4J account, which supports Julian Assange. RT reports that the account rallied support for the WikiLeaks founder, who is currently imprisoned in London, England, and could face extradition to the United States.
“Twitter, you are Big Brother, now we know it for sure, we always suspected it,” Waters said in a video he posted to Twitter. “You are an arm of the thought police. You are an arm of the forces of oppression. You wish to suppress freedom of speech, journalism, freedom of anything probably.”
Waters praised Assange as a champion of freedom of the press that has been betrayed by the United States, United Kingdom, and “all the other purveyors of imperialism.”
According to the 75-year-old, he issued his response because he believes “our world is being eroded by these f-ing arseholes, particularly Big Brother Twitter,” and suggested that he would likely be silenced for his belief in free speech.
In addition to Unity4J, other pro-Assange accounts have reportedly been suspended.
President Donald Trump recently went on his own tirade against Twitter. Per The Inquisitr, Trump claims that his tweets aren’t getting the same levels of engagement as they once did and blames it on the platform’s algorithms and the purported “shadow-banning” of right-wing politicians.
“It used to go up, it would say 7,000, 7,008, 7,017, 7,024, 7,032, 7,044, right? Now it goes 7,000, 7,008, 6,998. Does anyone know what I’m talking about with this? I never had that before,” he said at a social media summit held at the White House last week.
— RT (@RT_com) July 13, 2019
Quartz reports that Trump underestimated that amount of engagement his tweets received — and still do receive. An analysis by the publication claims that Trump gets tens of thousands of engagements per tweet and has been doing so since as early as January 2017. However, Trump is right that engagements have been dropping since the beginning of January 2019 — average engagements have dipped from approximately 160,000 to about 100,000.
It’s still unclear as to why Trump’s engagements started dipping. Although he points to shadow-banning, which refers to the alleged disabling of user privileges on a social media outlet or internet platform without their knowledge, Twitter denies shadow-banning users but does admit to purging fake accounts and followers. If Trump did have high levels of fake followers, their removal could decrease his visibility and thus his engagement.
Of course, Quartz writers Heather Timmons and Amanda Shendruk believe that at this point, Americans might just be less interested in what Trump has to say.