Friday 10 March 2017
While it is unclear as to what he posted that got him banned or even suspended in the first place, it is believed that this “violent threat” referenced by the Twitter support team is either Lauri’s Tweets about punching Nazis, or perhaps a post that Lauri made on Facebook after he was temporarily suspended from Twitter, which was later screen-capped and shared by multiple accounts. It is also suspected that those in charge of Twitter are resentful at the fact that Lauri and his community reacted to his suspension by openly expressing their outrage to them directly, so this is their extremely petty way of getting back at Lauri.
We must put pressure on Twitter to do the right thing and reinstate Lauri’s account, as well as stop suspending and banning people for speech that they are not personally in favour of.
Many of Lauri’s friends and supporters were concerned that his Twitter suspension was a result of pressure from UK authorities leading up to his potential extradition from the UK to the USA over hacking charges, which he is currently appealing. Lauri’s Facebook post was meant to put all of us at ease:
I have been suspended by Twitter. I don’t know why. Probably because of silly tone-policing algorithms and/or butthurt white supremacists. However, it is not because I am about to be surprise kidnapped and rendered to the USA to be locked up and tortured. We have submitted our perfected grounds for appeal as of last last Monday and strongly expect to hear that leave will be given for a High Court appeal to be heard in mid-to-late summer. In the meanwhile, I would not want to be someone working on Twitter’s support desk today as I am a little bored, a little annoyed, and unicode Zalgos are quite fun to play with...
There is a clear hypocrisy among the Twitter support team in that there are countless self-identified Nazis and Nazi-sympathizers who spread hatred on this platform every single day, but any talk about punching them or implying that they should not be free from consequence is seen as “violence”. Free speech is a fundamental value of the Internet and this must include social media platforms like Twitter, but in this case free speech is being upheld and violated selectively to the benefit of Twitter Fascists.
This is a severe injustice and a blatant act of censorship targeting an Anti-Fascist activist, while those using Twitter to spread fear and hatred towards people of colour, refugees, immigrants, women and the queer community are allowed to keep doing so.
By censoring Lauri they are hurting themselves, and they are showing us exactly which side of history they have chosen. We must fight back and make our position loud and clear. We will not tolerate censorship, and certainly not censorship of those who fight for the greater good while the genuinely evil people of this world get to express themselves freely.
Concerned Twitter users, free speech advocates and friends and supporters of Lauri Love. In your tweets, please use the hashtag #FreeSpeechFreeLauri,as well as #FreeLauri and #AntiFa.