Editorial 19 March 2018Erik Gibbs
Twitter drops the axe on Bitcoin Cash accounts, but it’s not what it seems
Twitter has recently reported that it will follow Google and Facebook in banning advertisements that promote cryptocurrencies. The trio’s move is designed to stop deceptive crypto scams and protect consumers. Twitter has also begun to specifically target Bitcoin Cash (BCH) accounts with no warning and with no explanation.
Some BCH accounts have been restricted, suspended or completely banned by the bird and, while there has been no official—or logical—explanation from Twitter, there is one popular theory regarding the action taken against the BCH accounts. Supporters of legacy Bitcoin (BTC), also known as SegWit Core, may be behind the activity, using a significant amount of bots to report the accounts.
This isn’t just a conspiracy theory, either. Some pieces of evidence exist to back up the claim. For instance, @Bitcoin account was recently suspended by Twitter, despite having a million followers and a positive track record. The account eventually was put back up; however, it became highly plausible to think that Core supporters had worked in sync to have the account suspended.
An alternative theory is raised about the possible source of the account suspensions. Is it possible that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could be behind the malevolent acts? An as-of-yet unconfirmed post on the popular forum website 4chan has a lot of people wondering. According to a TrustNodes report, a poster left a message saying that he works for Google, and that he’s part of a team working on the creation of bots to inject propaganda into Twitter. The poster claimed Google is behind the spate of tweets that have accused Russia of doing precisely what the Google team is doing. Based on the FBI’s strong-arm tactics in convincing Google to ban crypto ads, it’s feasible to make the connection.
Whether or not the theories have validity is difficult to ascertain. However, putting the pieces together, it’s certainly easy to see how the removal of BCH accounts could be the result of malicious intervention. Regardless of the source of the negative action, there is no reason that doesn’t arrive at censorship, and Twitter needs to take a more proactive approach to ensuring that the community remains free to share and discuss ideas, regardless of whether or not they go against popular culture.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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