Fox & Friends falsely suggests anti-choice film is being “shadow banned” on Twitter

Show cites normal account behavior outlined in Twitter FAQ to suggest it’s being unfairly singled out for political reasons 

On April 1, Fox News’ Fox & Friends aired a segment claiming that anti-choice film Unplanned had seen its followers on Twitter mysteriously disappear from its account after it was accidentally suspended and that Twitter users who attempted to follow the account were seeing their follows reversed. In fact, the follower “glitch” is normal for accounts that have recently been reactivated.

As one Twitter user noted, the unusual activity with Unplanned’s followers “is the expected behavior for a recently deactivated and reactivated account.” According to the Twitter FAQ, “some people’s following/followers or Tweet counts do not immediately display their previous numbers upon reactivation,” but “these will be fully restored within 24 hours of reactivation.” Indeed, “the follower network is being rebuilt after deactivation” as expected following the account's brief suspension on Saturday, March 30. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie “was not suspended on purpose, but rather was linked to another account that had violated Twitter's rules. When one account violates those rules, the system then cracks down on linked accounts to mitigate the risk that the original banned account would simply move accounts. After reviewing this case a second time, Twitter decided the Unplanned account should not be affected by the other's suspension and restored it.”

Although Fox & Friends admitted that the problem “could be a glitch,” this did not stop co-host Ainsley Earhardt from suggesting that this was the latest instance of conservatives being “shadow banned” and targeted by social media companies, a long-running and completely false claim from right-wing media personalities. From the April 1 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends

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