A fierce battle is seemingly brewing between microblogging platform, Twitter and the Venezuelan government for what is yet to be ascertained.
Venezuela had been accused of censoring Twitter as part of its bid to silence dissent, but it’s not so happy now that the shoe is on the other foot.
The country’s leadership says that Twitter has suspended 180 accounts linked to the government, including radio and TV outlets in the presidential palace.
While it’s not clear what prompted the move, officials are furious — President Nicolas Maduro claims that Twitter blocked accounts “simply for being Chavistas,” or supporters of his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.
President Maduro is, however, not calling for a boycott of Twitter, though. The “battle on social media” is too important, he says.
While there’s no firm evidence, President Maduro has continued to insist that Twitter took down “thousands” of accounts, and that Venezuela would respond by opening “10,000 or more” accounts in response.
Engadget reports it reached out to Twitter, but that leadership at the microblogging platform said there is nothing to tell.
The social network normally takes down accounts for abuse, spam or security issues, but there are no immediate indications as to what prompted the decision, or whether it is permanent.
It is unusual to block a mass of government accounts unless there was a clear, systemic violation of the rules.
If there is an explanation, we might not know the full story for a while until Twitter is willing to open up.