Twitter re-instates Barstool’s Dave Portnoy after suspended account triggers massive backlash

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Twitter suspended widely known sports guru Dave Portnoy on Friday but quickly reversed course after a groundswell of backlash from his fans.

Around 8:00 pm that evening, the hashtags #FreeDave and #FreeDavePortnoy began trending after fans of Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, discovered that his account was suspended.

Even Barstool Sports’ official Twitter account got in on the action by tweeting a photo of Portnoy meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. It was snapped earlier this month when the two met to reportedly talk about Bitcoin.

Former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., also posted the hashtag.

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The haters also tried taking part, with notoriously venomous comedian and actor Tom Arnold begging Twitter, “Do not #FreeDavePortnoy.”

Arnold, a known victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome, included a photo from the time that Portnoy met then-President Donald Trump last summer.

As of Saturday morning, Arnold’s tweet boasted a 300 percent ratio.

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His plea for Twitter to leave Portnoy suspended didn’t work, because Twitter unsuspended Portnoy by 9:00 pm, though it refused to offer an explanation for either the sports guru’s suspension or his unsuspension.

“We’ve no comment at this time however the account you reference has been reinstated,” was all a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News.

Portnoy made a grand reappearance at 9:09 pm, when he tweeted a video of legendary retired wrestler Ric Flair vowing that he’s a winner and will never lose.

“I’m back,” he wrote as a caption.

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The sports guru’s fans suspect he was suspended for having tweeted something slightly derogatory to a critic.

“So sell it. Mark your calendar. Dm me 1 year from today. Let me drop my nuts on your head,” he’d written to a critic who’d complained about his investment into Penn National Gaming, a company that has a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports.

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Portnoy’s short-lived suspension comes amid a recent upswing in online censorship, most of it having nothing to do with derogatory insults.

Facebook and YouTube — but not Twitter, surprisingly — recently censored Dr. Pierre Kory, a pulmonologist at Milwaukee’s St. Luke’s Aurora Medical Center, for the supposed crime of trying to share information on his research into a potential “magic Covid-19 bullet,” according to journalist Matt Taibbi.

YouTube also recently censored Reason, a 53-year-old libertarian magazine, for offering legitimate news coverage of a team of biohackers who’ve been working on a DIY coronavirus vaccine.

As for Twitter, in the past few months, it permanently suspended Project Veritas and its founder, James O’Keefe, and temporarily suspended Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The congresswoman was suspended multiple times, sometimes mistakenly.

In March, Twitter suspended the congresswoman “in error” on the same day that House Democrats introduced a resolution to try to expel her from Congress:

Earlier this month, Twitter suspended former Trump administration Treasury official Will Upton for comparing CNN’s Brian Stelter to the gimp from “Pulp Fiction.”

He was unsuspended after he appealed the ruling by pointing out that Twitter’s rules specifically state that “comparing a public figure to a fictional movie character does not violate their terms of service.”

Then this past week, Twitter suspended Mike David, the founder of the Internet Accountability Project, for correctly noting that President Joe Biden’s lax border policies are “making it easier for illegal immigrants to commit crimes.”

As of Saturday, Davis’s account was operational again, suggesting Twitter had once again censored someone “in error.”

What frustrates critics is that there’s never any accountability, including in the case of Portnoy. Twitter is simply allowed to run roughshod over people, in violation of its own rules, and potentially in violation of people’s rights.

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Vivek Saxena

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