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The Twitter accounts of Donald Trump Jr. and Rep. Jim Jordan, both staunch conservatives, have been “locked” following the sitewide hack late Wednesday that’d forced the social media network to lock all blue checkmark accounts.
As previously reported, late Wednesday hackers commandeered the accounts of several high-powered blue checkmark figures and subsequently used the accounts to try and solicit money to their bitcoin accounts.
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 15, 2020
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 15, 2020
Accounts hacked by Bitcoin scammers:
– Bill Gates
– Elon Musk
– Joe Biden
– Warren Buffett
– Kanye West
– Michael Bloomberg
– Jeff Bezos
– Barack Obama
– Benjamin Netanyahu
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) July 15, 2020
In response, Twitter promptly disabled all blue checkmark accounts until it could get a handle on the situation. A couple hours later, around 9:00 pm or so, the accounts were un-disabled, and everything returned to normal, or so it seemed.
By Thursday morning, reports began to emerge that the blue checkmark accounts of Trump Jr., the eldest son of President Donald Trump; his spokesperson Andy Surabian; the House Judiciary Committee’s GOP faction; and the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Jim Jordan, were still locked.
“Since early evening yesterday, both Donald Trump Jr. and I have been locked out of our respective Twitter accounts. We haven’t heard anything from Twitter on how/why this happened or if they plan on doing anything to rectify the situation,” Surabian said in a statement to Fox News.
“The fact that Congressman Jordan’s account, the most followed Twitter account for Republicans in the House of Representatives, remains locked is just dumbfounding,” a source close to Jordan added.
The House Judiciary Committee’s GOP faction eventually regained access to its account late Thursday:
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) July 17, 2020
As of Friday morning, however, it appeared the accounts of Jr., Surabian and Jordan were all still locked.
In a statement to The Daily caller, Surabian expressed fears that “someone deleted our account information on the back end of Twitter.”
“Surabian told Daily Caller that when he tried to access the accounts Thursday morning, Twitter prompted him to reset their passwords but would not recognize any of the associated emails and phone numbers,” the DC reported.
In the meantime, Trump Jr. has reportedly started his own social media network of sorts:
With his Twitter ban still in effect @DonaldJTrumpJr just launched his Locals community. It’s free as he wants to get the message out to as many people as possible.
He owns the content and data, Locals gives him the tools. The future of the Internet: https://t.co/mV9hWIhfss
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) July 16, 2020
What remains unclear is the reason for these locks. Some have speculated it’s political:
Seems to me like @Twitter is targeting them
— NCISfanatic21 (@JoshuaT11408544) July 17, 2020
Makes me very suspicious. Given their corporate censorship history, I wonder if Twitter is actually behind this.
— CRATER SAL (@m81461117) July 17, 2020
Sounds like an inside job to me.
— Rob (@Roman_Pleeb) July 17, 2020
Of course they are, $twtr employees are probably rummaging through their DM messages.
— Climate Detective Guy 🇺🇸 (@NJSnowFan) July 17, 2020
This smells like CENSORSHIP to me
— Basil 4 Brexit #WTO #Q #Redpilled 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 👋😎📣 (@ticticktock) July 17, 2020
However, the evidence doesn’t jibe with this particular theory.
According to additional reports, numerous left-wing figures have also been affected, including Democrat Sen. Mark Warner:
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) July 16, 2020
24 hrs ago we were all joking about the return of the blue checkmarks, but these Dems are STILL locked out.
— Lauren Passalacqua (@laurenvpass) July 17, 2020
And so it doesn’t appear to be an issue of politics but rather one of standard incompetence — the same incompetence, in fact, that had allowed Twitter to be backed in the first place.
This is why politicians like Warner and Sen. Josh Hawley, a big proponent of eliminating the Section 230 protections enjoyed by tech giants like Twitter, are calling for an investigation.
“Social media platforms have become central to political leaders communicating with constituents, media personalities interacting with their fans, and brands engaging with their customers,” Warner said in a statement to Fox.
“The ability of bad actors to take over prominent accounts, even fleetingly, signals a worrisome vulnerability in this media environment – exploitable not just for scams, but for more impactful efforts to cause confusion, havoc, and political mischief. It is absolutely essential that Twitter and law enforcement investigate this matter fully, and that all large social media platforms put greater resources and monitoring into high-risk accounts.”
Hawley likewise released a public letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey demanding answers for the original hack.
“I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself. As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service. A successful attack on your system’s servers represents a threat to all of your users’ privacy and data security,” he wrote.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 16, 2020
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