In the wake of the violent insurrection staged at the United States Capitol grounds on January 6, social media providers banned President Donald Trump and several of his closest allies. They cited false claims and incendiary lies that could result in further violence as the reason.
The platforms also began purging accounts.
Trump allies still on Twitter—like Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida and Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas—posted complaints about their and other Trump allies' drop in total followers.
Twitter denizens were less than sympathetic.
Started the day at 892k. Currently 856k and dropping. https://t.co/Qde6TY4Bwl— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1610171857.0
because keeping track of how many followers on twitter is the most important thing right now. Geeshhh!
— Biden Won Get Over it (@nmorel1971) January 12, 2021
@johnpavlovitz @mattgaetz Hey, Matt! This young lady has one for you. https://t.co/OxqRTizntU— T. Filson Rogers (@T. Filson Rogers)1610241329.0
unacceptable https://t.co/2EMAbU3ImA— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1610241054.0
If only you cared as much about not betraying your country as you do people losing their social media following Teddy...
— WhatIfBarackOrHillarySaidIt 😷🗽 (@IfBarack) January 10, 2021
One of the Trump allies who took to Twitter to cry foul was former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Sanders shared a post from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. His tweet included a graphic from an unidentified, unverified source showing increases in Twitter followers for Democratic leaders and losses for Republicans after the storming of the Capitol by a right-wing mob.
"I've lost 50k+ followers this week."
"The radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalize, censor, or silence the American people."
"This is not China, this is United States of America, and we are a free country."
I’ve lost 50k+ followers this week. The radical left and their big tech allies cannot marginalize, censor, or silen… https://t.co/axppECKjN6— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@Sarah Huckabee Sanders)1610221056.0
Sanders' lament was met with the same scorn as other Trump allies, with many questioning Republican priorities after the Capitol riot resulted in 5 deaths and was cited as the catalyst for the death of a second Capitol police officer.
Replies also cited daily pandemic deaths as a higher priority than Twitter followers.
Sarah's more outraged about losing 50K followers on Twitter than she is about 5 people dying in the Capitol Building this week or 380,000 dying from a preventable disease in 10 months. But no doubt she thinks she is a “patriot" and a “Christian!"
— MURRAY🧢🇺🇸 (@murray_nyc) January 10, 2021
But one Sanders' respondent had a very pointed critique.
On Sunday, Dana D. Deree tweeted:
"You were a student at Little Rock Central High when I taught AP Government there, but you didn't take the advanced class. If you had, maybe you would better understand the First Amendment and the difference between limits on government and freedoms for private individuals."
"I've taught Sunday School too. You didn't learn those lessons either."
The former Sanders' teacher has since made their account private.
People appreciated Deree's assessment of Sanders' complaints.
His follow up on Sunday school is even better
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 11, 2021
"I taught Sunday school too. You didn't learn those lessons either." pic.twitter.com/CWiEwCX3Kd
— Hipster Sasquatch, waiting for January 20. (@Gr8SageEqlofHvn) January 11, 2021
Go Dana Deree for calling Huckabee out on her...uh...ahem...sheer stupidity & lack of morals.👏😃💫
— Adelaide (@Adelaidesoars) January 12, 2021
And the tweet of the day goes to Dana Deree
— RoseMary (@jrtorregrossa) January 11, 2021
Praise be to Dana D Deree!
— Wear a mask and Vote! (@celina_curry) January 11, 2021
Damn! Dana D Deree Dissing Diss Dummy Dat Democracy
— PresidentDrumpf (@PrzDonaldDrumpf) January 11, 2021
@MikeHirsch3 @alexnazaryan In Arkansas, 42nd in education in the US.— shannon meyers (@shannon meyers)1610338796.0
IT IS APPARENTLY CLEAR THAT SARAH SUCKABE SANDERS DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING IN HIGH 🏫ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🙄🙄🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/vtP7EcQH4H
— OPERATION DESERT STORM VETERAN (@kdander222) January 11, 2021
@DanaDDeree Thank you for being a teacher. @SarahHuckabee We lament the loss of lives, not Twitter followers.
— Chandana Rao (@Chandan66945553) January 11, 2021
It's so telling how many of these petty people are concerned with followers when we're losing 4K people per day and we just had a domestic terror attack.
— Sheila Jobe (@SheilaJobe) January 11, 2021
On Monday afternoon Twitter Safety shared why most Trump allies saw drops in followers.
We're keeping you informed of all the steps we're taking to protect the public conversation. We’ve summarized our r… https://t.co/okGyuGD7rp— Twitter Safety (@Twitter Safety)1610415268.0
Twitter announces it deleted *70,000* accounts that were primarily sharing QAnon content at scale. If you've lost… https://t.co/6WPiYrLMk8— Steven Dennis (@Steven Dennis)1610415971.0
Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts from its platform for promoting QAnon. Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted… https://t.co/xrgzjCxwLO— Brian Cano Sr. (@Brian Cano Sr.)1610422190.0
Gotta love the HUGE self-own from people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, basically pointing out publicly that they wer… https://t.co/w2IwkKNtOP— Jake Lobin (@Jake Lobin)1610316973.0
Promoting sedition and insurrection has consequences
— ProgressiveArchitect (@PrgrsvArchitect) January 12, 2021
Sarah Sanders has the bravery of Paul Ryan and the decisiveness of Susan Collins.
— Eric the editor 🇺🇸🍻⚽️🌊 (@Editor_of_Eric) January 12, 2021
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: I just lost tens of thousands of supporters and I demand to know why Twitter: we just bann… https://t.co/EoyQCREo9X— Dave (@Dave)1610430267.0
That's “Karen" Huckabee Sanders.
— LelandJordan (@LeeJordanofWI) January 12, 2021
As for Trump allies' claims of their First Amendment right to post or retain accounts on social media platforms, people pointed out no one—especially a current or former government official—should need an advanced class to understand the flaw in their argument.
@RepMattGaetz Gee Matt read the Constitution much? First amendment protects a person’s free speech against the gove… https://t.co/gGf6t18pKl— David (@David)1610440700.0
It's amazing how many Americans do not understand the #FirstAmendment. It's civics 101. It's protects your speech f… https://t.co/y0cCBFIzYb— Why So Serious? (@Why So Serious?)1610440510.0
@LoveMyPOTUS2020 @DonaldGBillings The First Amendment speech rights apply to the government restricting your speech… https://t.co/GXw93A9K2v— Hi I'm Reagan (@Hi I'm Reagan)1610439139.0
Like it or not, they've been deleting bot accounts over the last 48 hours. Even if your claim is true, no one cares. In the free market, you have the option to delete your account. You do not have the right to a built-in audience. pic.twitter.com/5OOvUTce5b
— Dr. Donald G. Billings 🇺🇸 (@DonaldGBillings) January 10, 2021
Sanders has as yet not addressed Deree's comments.