Twitter has suspended several accounts related to politicized “audits” of 2020 election results around the country, including the official account of the audit in Arizona.
Among the casualties: The official @ArizonaAudit account, as well as the sharper @AuditWarRoom account, which provided a constant stream of attacks aimed at critics of the sham recount. The anonymous creator of the latter account was also behind several other now-suspended accounts: @AuditMichigan, @AuditWisconsin, @AuditNevada, @AuditGeorgia, @Audit_PA, @Audit_Arizona.
A Twitter spokesperson told TPM, “The accounts referenced were permanently suspended for violating the Twitter rules on platform manipulation and spam.”
The website’s platform manipulation and spam policy prohibits inauthentic behavior, including “operating multiple accounts with overlapping use cases, such as identical or similar personas or substantially similar content.”
The Arizona Audit, a months-long review of Maricopa County’s 2020 votes that’s been informed by conspiracy theories and marred by misinformation, didn’t respond to TPM’s request for comment.
On Instagram last week, AuditWarRoom advertised Telegram accounts for the state-based audit advocacy groups, and after the suspension, they also promoted a Gettr account — the social media platform created by Trump adviser Jason Miller, and funded by the Trump-friendly Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.
The ArizonaAudit and AuditWarRoom accounts took aim at both journalists and state and county officials for months.
Senate President Karen Fann (R) said in May, after a particularly harsh few days from the ArizonaAudit account, that it was run by audit liaison Ken Bennett — who himself has criticized the audit in recent days.
Bennett, in turn, said the account was being run by a “committee.”
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) May 4, 2021
The Arizona audit has in large part been a content-generation operation, and has starred a rotating cast of characters prominent in far-right media. It has provide red meat for Trump supporters even when the information it put out is simply wrong, such as a bunk statistic announced by the lead contractor of the audit, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, and parroted a few days later by Donald Trump at a rally in Phoenix.
Logan recently appeared in a conspiracy theory film about the audit and voter fraud that starred Patrick Byrne, ex-Overstock.com CEO and a major funder of the audit effort. In addition to an interview with Logan, the documentary crew got up-close access to ballot boxes.
An anchor for the far-right network One America News, Christina Bobb, has also promoted her own fundraising vehicle for the audit, Voices and Votes, on air. And money from Voices and Votes has been used to fly in state lawmakers from around the country to tour the Arizona audit site, in hopes they’ll bring the Arizona model home.
One Wisconsin legislator whose trip to Arizona was funded by Voices and Votes, State Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R), recently announced her own investigation of Wisconsin’s 2020 results — even though there are multiple similar reviews ongoing in the state.