The popular Bitcoin influencer Pierre Rochard was caught in Twitter’s restriction rampage during election week. Though he’s back tweeting at the time of press, the event reminded users of Twitter’s power over the crypto discourse.
Twitter Censors Trump Misinformation
Twitter recently censored a swath of highly controversial tweets from the American President, Donald J. Trump. The President tweeted several misleading and unfounded tweets regarding the authenticity of this week’s election.
For his activity, the social media firm curtained his content with the following sentence:
“Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”
Despite the gravity of these tweets’ content, many, particularly those in the Bitcoin community, have expressed concern. And in the same week, one of the most influential members of the very same Bitcoin community was caught in the censorship crossfire.
Pierre Rochard Restricted for 24 Hours
Yesterday, however, Twitter restricted his account. The social media firm cited “unusual activity on the account” as the reason for the block.
Though the reasons are unclear, Rochard stirred division by telling members of a newly-erected Telegram group called “Bitcoin Twitter backup” that it was “mass reporting from Ethereans.” He said:
“ETH bag holders get salty and organize to mass report with false accusations.”
He cited a recent tweet comparing ETH 2.0 deposit contracts with the famous Eagles song, Hotel California, telling his followers that they can never return to ETH 1.0 after staking on the new ETH 2.0 beacon chain.
If Ethereum 2.0 really was an upgrade, it wouldn’t have “Hotel California” politics.
— PierreRochard.com (@pierre_rochard) November 6, 2020
Later in the same discussion, Rochard admitted that Twitter explained “nothing,” and that the “‘moderation’ is deliberately opaque so that they can do their thing while hiding behind ToS and ‘algos.’”
He even joked that he was banned because “Kamala Harris reported [his] account because she’s a cop.”
Despite the lack of evidence behind many of Rochard’s claims, the event resurfaced questions regarding the social media firm’s monopoly on the crypto discourse.
Udi Wertheimer, another experienced developer, told in the same Telegram group:
“Twitter is a great tool to learn about Bitcoin, but also gives Twitter way too much power. At any point in the future, it can decide to censor any Bitcoin narratives that don’t play along with Twitter’s future interests.”