Twitter’s Shutdown Of @Bitcoin Promotes Wild Conspiracy Theories
@Bitcoin Twitter account was briefly banned by Twitter over the weekend. It is alleged that the account was shortly operated by an unknown user who is claimed to be Turkish, shortly after, a Russian also took control before it was actually returned to its real owner on Monday.
“We do not comment on individual accounts so nothing to share,” explained to a Twitter spokesperson when questioned about the shutdown. “That’s some bullshit if you ask me,” the user behind @Bitcoin tweeted. “I’d like to know why my account was given to someone else, and then when it’s reinstated I’m missing 750,000 of my followers.”
At the point of its ban, the Twitter account @Bitcoin had over 821,000 followers. During its brief shutdown, all of the followers disappeared but from the look of things, Twitter is returning them once again.
The sudden shutdown obviously sparked some conspiracy ideas in the bitcoin community. The @Bitcoin account is loyal to Bitcoin Cash referred to as BCash: Bitcoin Cash was created by a group of developers, miners, and other members of the community who separated in August of 2017, replicating the bitcoin blockchain and coming up with new cryptocurrency, following a struggle over how to solve the developing network’s scaling problem.
The connection between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin, or Bitcoin Core, is bitter. Some Bitcoin Cash fans were of the opinion that the recent shutdown of the @Bitcoin account was thanks to their rivals on the Bitcoin Core side who gave false allegations to Twitter.
The @Bitcoin account has had previous reports. Earlier in January, a user appeal to others to report the account, referring to it as a “Fake @Bitcoin account.” Some members of the community agreed while others objected, saying the owner of the account should be able to tweet about whatever they want.
As with many online conversations about bitcoin, it’s difficult to tell who is real and who is a sock puppet; the thread was eventually locked because the moderators claimed users were “brigading and vote to cheat.”
Similarly, on Twitter, there was a flood of tweets from accounts claiming that they had reported @Bitcoin for spreading what they viewed as propaganda for Bitcoin Cash. Others said they reported it as “spam,” “hate speech,” or “price pumping.” “I complained to Google because when I would Google bitcoin I would get a prominently displayed Twitter feed of @Bitcoin with three separate posts, and always the first one was that bcash was the real bitcoin,” reads one Reddit comment. “I found it a fraudulent statement intended to confuse and induce newbies to buy their cheap knock-off product.”
According to some, the account had been earlier attacked by Bitcoin Cash fan Roger Ver. The account which was recorded in August 2017 based on its Twitter bio, recently started to tweet about Bitcoin Cash in January. During that period, @Bitcoin Tweeted, “The ownership of this account has not changed hands. I became busy with other things, much has changed since then and I’ve decided to take a more active role in the community once again.” Ver claims he has no connection to the account, and that it “is owned by someone involved in Bitcoin since 2009.”
A profound conspiracy idea claims that Twitter banned the account due to CEO Jack Dorsey’s support for Bitcoin Core and $2.5 million investment in Lighting Labs, a startup creating technology for Bitcoin Core.
Following its restoration, the @Bitcoin account tweeted, “I’d love to hear a public explanation from @twittersupport about why #bitcoin competitor #LightningNetwork investor @jack disabled this account, gave it to someone else, only to return it in the face of public backlash with 750,000 fewer followers.”