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- 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 internal message as saying: “Suspension: direct request from Elon Musk.”
A leaked internal Twitter message appears to show 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 question, 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 police officers, The Intercept reported.
Musk has described himself politically as “somewhere in the middle” but encouraged his followers to vote Republican the day before November’s midterm elections.
Loder’s account was one of several prominent 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 how to falsely report breaches of Twitter’s rules by particular accounts — with Loder’s profile listed near the top.
On Tuesday, Twitter reinstated the account of prominent white nationalist Nick Fuentes, only for it to be banned again inside 24 hours.
In a since-deleted tweet in October, Musk promoted a conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of former house speaker Nancy Pelosi.
J.M. Berger, an expert on social-media extremism, previously told Insider: “I think he’s intentionally empowering right-wing extremists.”
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.