Tech

Alt-Twitter accounts are banding together after Twitter sues U.S. government over account

The resistance is strong, on Twitter.

After Twitter revealed Thursday it is suing the U.S. government for demanding the user information of @ALT_USCIS, an anonymous account that tweets against Trump’s immigration policies, other popular anti-Trump handles have been rallying behind it.

It’s a digital army, you could say, with the unified mission of sharing accurate information about the policies and actions taken by the U.S. government and what the repercussions could be.

Here’s a recent tweet from @ALT_USCIS:

To the NEW MAGA FOLKS: we never advocated for illegal immigration, we advocate for due process for anyone human! It is a right!

— ALT🛂 Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 7, 2017

As shown above, there’s a bunch of these accounts:

Alice Stollmeyer created a public Twitter list, "Twistance," which includes more than 40 of the resistance accounts.

As revealed in Twitter’s lawsuit, the Department of Homeland Security demanded that the company provide the user data of the @ALT_USCIS account. Twitter’s defense: the First Amendment.

“The rights of free speech afforded Twitter’s users and Twitter itself under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution include a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech," the lawsuit reads.

"Like many Twitter users, those who speak through these ‘alternative agency’ accounts do so pseudonymously, often going to considerable lengths to avoid disclosing their real identities," the lawsuit continues.

Twitter’s argument extends to how providing user data for one account sets a precedent, similar to how if Apple had decided to break into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter for the FBI back in 2016.

The request of "permitting CBP to pierce the pseudonym of the @ALT_USCIS account would have a grave chilling effect on the speech of that account in particular and on the many other ‘alternative agency’ accounts that have been created to voice dissent to government," Twitter wrote in the lawsuit.

The people behind these accounts aren’t just spreading the news of the government’s effort to unmask @ALT_USCIS on Twitter. They have also taken to Facebook, for example:

But Twitter is holding strong and true to its long history and foundation in open discussion and freedom of speech. And so are its users.

Comments are closed.