Twitter locks Breakthrough Party account in an attack on free speech

Twitter has locked the account of the Breakthrough Party in an attack on free speech.

The Breakthrough Twitter account (@BThroughParty) has been locked since Wednesday morning due to ‘unusual behaviour that violates the Twitter Rules’, without any supporting evidence.

Breakthrough is unable to post from the account and Twitter users are greeted with a message saying: ‘Caution: This account is temporarily restricted’ when they click on the Party’s profile.

The Party was given instructions to unlock the account, but due to technical difficulties at Twitter HQ they’re not working and Twitter Support is unresponsive, despite Breakthrough sending multiple emails.

Party Leader, Alex Mays, said: “Even if this is a technical issue at Twitter rather than deliberate censorship the outcome is the same. They have de-platformed a registered political party, without a reason.

Unlike the establishment parties, we don’t have cosy relationships with political hacks, column inches in right-wing rags or guest slots on political talk shows.

Twitter is our biggest platform and it helped get us the initial traction we needed to get off the ground when we first launched in the midst of a third Covid lockdown back in January 2021.”

The Breakthrough Twitter account currently has 41.5k followers and regularly tweets about key issues around the cost of living, the climate crisis and the redistribution of wealth and power, as well as promoting its grassroots campaigning activities.

Alex added: “The power of unregulated, unaccountable US social media tech giants is seriously concerning.

We have already seen since Elon Musk’s takeover his willingness to stifle free speech by banning critical journalists and it looks like political parties could face the same treatment.

It’s clear to us that the likes of Twitter, Meta and other tech giants need democratic oversight alongside rules and regulations, which can genuinely hold them to account.”

This isn’t the first time Twitter has effectively censored a left-wing political party, in November 2021 the Northern Independence Party had their account locked for 3 weeks for calling for COVID-19 vaccine patents to be made freely available. 

They received no apology and no correspondence from Twitter Support.

Breakthrough is encouraging supporters to tweet using the hashtag #UnbanBreakthrough and tagging @elonmusk and @TwitterSupport to get their attention and unlock the account.