UPDATE! CENSORED: Twitter Suspends, Restores Sen. Mike Lee Personal Account; Musk Explains

March 1st, 2023 3:17 PM

Update: Elon Musk explained Sen. Mike Lee's (R-UT) brief suspension in a tweet. "His personal account (@BasedMikeLee) was incorrectly flagged as impersonation, which is not totally crazy, since it is based," Musk Tweeted.


Twitter suspended Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) personal account with “no explanation” Wednesday. 

“My personal Twitter account –@BasedMikeLee– has been suspended. Twitter did not alert me ahead of time, nor have they yet offered an explanation for the suspension. My team and I are seeking answers,” the senator tweeted.

Twitter later restored the account again without explanation, according to Sen. Lee. “Thanks to all who assisted in operation #Free@basedMikeLee. Still no explanation from @Twitter as to what happened,” he later tweeted

Before Twitter restored the account, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell let Twitter owner Elon Musk know that censoring a member of congress is unacceptable. “There is no excuse for suspending the account of a United States Senator. @elonmusk what's going? This needs to be fixed immediately.”

MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider also commented on how bizarre the unexplained suspension appears. “Yesterday: @BretBaier gets Christopher Wray to reveal that the FBI has been hiding the truth,” he tweeted. “Today: Twitter suspends @SenMikeLee for telling the truth.”

Unfortunately, however, Lee is not alone. MRC Free Speech America’s unique CensorTrack.org database recorded that Twitter has censored members of Congress 31 times from October 2020 to today.

But Twitter is just one of the most frequent offenders. Nearly every major Big Tech platform has censored elected officials, including: Google and Google-owned YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Twitch.

MRC Free Speech America has documented in CensorTrack.org that Big Tech censorship across platforms has affected 22 members of the House and 11 members of the Senate including: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and  Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). Many of these elected government officials have been censored multiple times, some on multiple platforms. 

Lee’s mysterious suspension raises serious questions about Twitter’s attempts to promote free speech on its platform. As MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris noted on Twitter, “If @elonmusk is serious about upholding the American democratic principles of free speech on this platform, this is precisely the sort of thing that should not happen. #FreeSpeech.”

Twitter did not respond to MRC Free Speech America's request for comment by publication time.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.