Yesterday, a grand jury declined to bring serious charges against the officers — former detective Brett Hankison, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove — responsible for the shooting that resulted in Breonna Taylor’s death in Kentucky.
As a result, social media saw an explosion of posts from frustrated users upset with the jury’s decision, all with an underlying message that justice has yet to be served for Breonna Taylor.
Amid the flood of Breonna Taylor posts, Twitter users began reporting strange glitches with their accounts, including messages of account restrictions, suspensions, purged accounts, and deleted tweets almost immediately following any mention of her name in tweets.
“I got messaged quickly that my account was tweeting suspiciously after I had a tweet with [Breonna Taylor’s] full name,” said Howard Nedrick Jr. “I had to prove I wasn’t a bot.”
Another user, @aldendelena, reported something similar and her account remains restricted as of Sept. 24.
“After I pressed send on this tweet, I had a message popping up saying I needed to verify my account and there was suspicious activity going on,” she said.
Other users on the platform took to their respective pages to share their account glitches as well.
Twitter just purged a ton of accounts
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 23, 2020
Twitter is censoring my tweets about Breonna Taylor. If you can see this, please retweet and like.
SAY HER NAME!
— Travis Allen (@TravisAllen02) September 23, 2020
immediately after Tweeting these words, I was locked out of my account (for hours!), for the first time ever. duly-noted. oh, and let me say it one more time…
God bless Breonna Taylor. 🙏🏾 https://t.co/veSv2qFdO5
— Regina R. Robertson ✍🏾 (@reginarobertson) September 23, 2020
Twitter’s policy of posting “potentially sensitive content” could be the reason for mass glitches on the platform, but many people argued it was too much of a coincidence that thousands of users were experiencing glitches following their tweets speaking out on the jury’s decision.
Media personality Sylvia Obell stated in a now-deleted tweet: “A lot of strange things are happening today with how @Twitter’s system is handling people tweeting about Breonna. I hope we get some answers.”
In response to users’ complaints, Twitter Support tweeted a statement denying claims of locked/limited accounts saying users shouldn’t see any errors “because they Tweeted about any particular topic.”
The accounts that were mistakenly locked or limited have been restored. We’re sorry this happened in the first place.
If you're having trouble accessing your account, here's what you can do: https://t.co/lxCGYu2ZcO
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 23, 2020
Despite tweets containing Breonna Taylor’s name getting deleted, tweets calling for protesters to “burn down” went unflagged and the phrase “Burn Louisville” became a trending topic.
It seems only one of these topics was in violation of the platform’s practices, but users were flagged for demanding justice for the victim of police violence.
Users’ reports and Twitter’s sensitive content policy seemed obtuse following yesterday’s news and people are still demanding answers as many accounts remain restricted, without followers/people they’re following, and several deleted Breonna Taylor tweets.