- Anti-fascist activist Chad Loder’s Twitter account was suspended in November 2022.
- A leaked internal Twitter message suggests Elon Musk directly ordered the suspension.
- Bloomberg reported the inner message as saying: “Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk.”
A leaked internal Twitter message appears to point out that Elon Musk directly ordered staff to suspend a left-wing activist’s account on the social-media platform.
Bloomberg said it viewed a screenshot of the message in query, involving the account of Chad Loder, which read: “Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk.”
Loder, who uses they/them pronouns, describes themself on their Mastodon profile as a community activist, cybersecurity expert, and citizen journalist. Their investigation into the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 led to the arrest of a masked member of the far-right Proud Boys organisation who’d attacked cops, The Intercept reported.
Musk has described himself politically as “somewhere in the center” but encouraged his followers to vote Republican the day before November’s midterm elections.
This story’s publication resulted in an exchange between Musk and the outstanding right-wing journalist Andy Ngo, who shared a series of screenshots purporting to point out past tweets from Loder advocating violence. Insider couldn’t independently confirm the tweets due to Loder’s account suspension.
Loder said the tweets were taken out of context and weren’t the rationale for his or her suspension.
In response to Ngo, Musk tweeted: “I do not know this person in any respect, but explicit threats of violence obviously violate Twitter ToS,” or terms of service.
Loder’s account was considered one of several outstanding left-wing accounts suspended by Twitter in November 2022.
Loder told Insider’s Sawdah Bhaimiya they suspected the suspension resulted from an “organized mass-reporting campaign,” whereby a right-wing group published a Substack blog with instructions on the way to falsely report breaches of Twitter’s rules by particular accounts — with Loder’s profile listed near the highest.
On Tuesday, Twitter reinstated the account of outstanding white nationalist Nick Fuentes, just for it to be banned again inside 24 hours.
In a since-deleted tweet in October, Musk promoted a conspiracy theory in regards to the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former house speaker Nancy Pelosi.
J.M. Berger, an authority on social-media extremism, previously told Insider: “I feel he’s intentionally empowering right-wing extremists.”
Twitter didn’t immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.
January 31, 2023: This post was updated to incorporate Elon Musk’s tweet in response to Insider’s story.