MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who was previously banned from Twitter, launched a new account on Sunday afternoon, quickly amassing tens of thousands of followers, before Twitter took him down in less than four hours.
Twitter made the decision to permanently ban Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, from the social media platform in late January 2021 after he repeatedly promoted unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent. Trump was banned from Twitter weeks earlier after his supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, following encouragement of him on the platform in addition to his promotion of election misinformation.
“Hey everyone, I’M BACK ON TWITTER. My only account is @MikeJLindell! Please RT and FOLLOW to SPREAD THE WORD,” the MyPillow CEO wrote in his first Twitter post on the new account published at 1:25 pm ET.
In about five minutes, like news week observed in real time, the account had already been followed by more than 20,000 users. At the time of this writing, Lindell had amassed more than 37,000 followers. However, shortly after 5:00 pm ET, Twitter removed the account.
A Twitter spokesperson said news week that the account was permanently suspended for violating the platform’s rules on ban evasion.
“Hi everyone on Twitter, this is Mike Lindell,” the pro-Trump businessman said in a selfie video included with his first post. “I’m here to tell you about my new account,” he said, warning his followers that there are other people posing as him on Twitter. The MyPillow CEO appeared to be sitting in a private jet while filming the clip.
“So we started this account. Please share it with everyone you know. Tell everyone you know, so we can get the word out here on Twitter in case they take it down,” Lindell said. “And thank you very much for helping.”
“Twitter decided to ban Lindell, who founded the bedding company My Pillow, due to ‘repeated violations’ of its civic integrity policy, a spokesperson said in a statement. The policy was implemented last September and is intended to combat disinformation,” said the Associated Press. Reported at the end of January last year.
Lindell launched his new account as billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is in the process of buying Twitter for an estimated $44 billion. Musk plans to take the social media platform private and has touted the purchase as important to society, saying his goal is to protect free speech. Critics of Twitter’s management have argued that the social media company has overly censored information and posts shared on the platform.
The CEO of MyPillow has become a key promoter of false claims about President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Lindell has toured the country for the past year and a half attending events and rallies to promote the so-called “Big Lie” that the election was stolen. He claims to have spent some $35 million of his own money in his effort to convince people that the conspiracy theory is true. The former president also goes on to claim that Biden only won in 2020 due to widespread fraud.
Despite his claims, dozens of election challenge lawsuits brought by the former president and his supporters have failed in state and federal court. Even Trump-appointed judges dismissed the cases. Audits and recounts across the country, including in states where elections were overseen by pro-Trump Republicans, have consistently reaffirmed Biden’s victory.
Former Attorney General William Barr, considered one of Trump’s most loyal cabinet members, has repeatedly said there is “no evidence” to support claims that widespread voter fraud is behind Trump’s defeat. Barr wrote in his memoir published in March that he told the former president directly to his face that the claims were “nonsense.”
Trump critics have sounded the alarm that the former president will be allowed to return to the platform under the potential leadership of Musk. However, the former president told Fox News on Monday that he will not return to Twitter.
He spoke favorably of Musk’s pending purchase of the platform, saying, “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’s going to make improvements to it and he’s a good man.”
Update 5/1/22, 5:17 pm ET: This story has been updated with a comment from Twitter.