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X bans account promoting a forthcoming documentary about FBI’s role in Whitmer ‘kidnapping plot’

In yet another example of how alleged “free speech” platform X (formerly Twitter) is anything but, a small team of independent documentary filmmakers have had their account “permanently” suspended this week as they prepare to release a documentary that they’ve been working on for over a year.

The topic: The 2020 “plot to kidnap and kill” Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the FBI’s extensive involvement therein.

Here’s the trailer:

The account was set up to promote the film, entitled Kidnap and Kill: An FBI Terror Plot, 14 months ago, in January of 2023.

“I paid for the account for over a year and even paid to promote the trailer on X buying twitter ads,” said director Christina Urso (also known as Radix Verum) in a post on Saturday.

“No email – nothing saying we violated TOS. We only used it to promote the trailer for the documentary.”

A screenshot of the now-banned @KandKFilm account as of May of 2023 confirms the account’s creation date and paid status:

The account presumably garnered more followers over the past 10 months. This is the most recent snapshot on archive.is.

It’s now been completely wiped out, and replaced with a vague message that says, “Account suspended… X suspends accounts that violate the X Rules.”

“They are saying ‘after a careful review,’ of the account which violated no rules they are totally deleting and censoring it,” notes Urso.

“This was not an ‘accident,’ it wasn’t the algorithm making a mistake. Someone [CHOSE] to censor it.”

The most careful of review processes

As another example of just how “careful” (i.e., farcical) X’s alleged “review” process is:

A few weeks, ago Decensored News’ account was hit with two sensitive content warnings.

The “sensitive” material?

1. A post from 4 weeks earlier criticizing Rep. Ro Khanna and quoting the AP/NPR

2. A post that’s literally just 3 screenshots of a Reuters article and a link to that article (Topic: Undercover Israeli troops assassinating someone in a hospital in 2015)

X said: “…if you think we flagged your post by mistake, you can appeal the warning by clicking on each post.”

Clicking the Khanna one yielded an error message: “This page is down.”

Clicking the second one did indeed open up an appeal form, allowing us to explicitly tell them the same thing you just saw and read above: “This is literally just three screenshots of a Reuters article and a link to that article.”

An hour or two later, their “careful review” process was complete, and the results were in:

A pattern of deliberate censorship

“In order to really build trust, you have to have transparency,” said Elon Musk—then CEO of Twitter and now executive chairman and CTO of X—in April of 2023.

“It can’t be that here’s this black box, something’s happening in here, we won’t tell you what it is, trust us. I think that’s BS.”

Except that’s pretty much exactly how their moderation and “review process” works, as seen in the examples above.

As anyone who has followed our reporting since Musk originally took over as CEO of the platform in late 2022 knows, these are not isolated incidents.

Despite his frequent platitudes about free speech, he made it clear from early on that he planned to “max deboost” (censor) content that was “negative” or “hate[ful]”—an absurdly vague standard that the company has selectively enforced ever since.

This has included, for instance:

As another recent example, journalist Kit Klarenberg was suspended from the platform just a few weeks ago:

After a fairly substantial amount of pushback, X “clarified” that his suspension will expire in May, after an arbitrary three month period, while once again citing vague alleged “violations” of the “X Terms of Service.”

Klarenberg’s suspension came just two days after X temporarily locked Maram Susli (aka “Syrian Girl”), another prominent critic of US foreign policy and Israel, out of her account.

“You will be next”

Time will tell if the “permanent” suspension (“after careful review”!) of the Kidnap and Kill account sticks, or if it’s ultimately overturned. In this selectively-enforced system, it usually comes down to how much of an outcry one can elicit from other users.

For her part, Urso has been trying to draw attention to her situation for the past 48 hours, with mixed success.

“To everyone helping us try to get answers on the preemptive censorship by X of our documentary film on the Gov. Whitmer Fednapping hoax, thank you for fighting for us,” she wrote on Sunday.

“To the journalists, content creators, and fellow film makers who have been silent – you will be next eventually.”


Update (3/11/24): X has now restored the account with no explanation:

For more reporting like this, please follow Decensored News on your favorite social media sites and bookmark the website.

Image Credit: Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0). May be modified from original.
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