John Biggs, the former Mayor of Tower Hamlets, has been suspended from Twitter amid a spate of political accounts losing access to the social media site.
The Labour politician was told his account broke Twitter rules on Monday 5 December and was prevented from engaging with followers or anyone on the platform.
Biggs was mayor from 2015 until May this year, after losing to former mayor Lutfur Rahman of the newly formed Aspire Party. Rahman was found guilty of election fraud and removed as mayor in 2015.
When asked about his suspension, Biggs said: ‘I know of others locally but it is not for me to reveal. We think it may be trolls who love the new or recycled mayor.’
Kevin Brady, former Tower Hamlets councillor and colleague of Biggs, has also been banned.
Since Twitter’s takeover by tech-billionaire Elon Musk, there has been a reported rise in account suspensions after thousands of moderating staff were sacked by the self-proclaimed ‘free-speech absolutist’.
Biggs said he has not heard ‘a squeak from Twitter’ following an appeal and that he is not aware of anything he did to violate the social media site’s rules.
‘There is an epidemic of suspensions at the moment,’ he said. ‘I rarely tweet and nothing offensive, but seem to have been suspended.
‘The rumour is right wing trolls are complaining about anyone on the left but I have no idea why it happened except it wasn’t anything I did.’
With CNN reporting a mass unbanning of Twitter users last week, including members of the far-right and users sharing misinformation, Biggs suggested the re-emergence of online trolls has contributed to him losing access.
Despite the ban and someone impersonating his account, the former mayor says he will not be bothered if it does not get lifted, as many flock away from the social media site in search of alternatives with more diligent content moderation.
If you enjoyed this piece and found it interesting, see our interview with John Biggs before the May election.
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