Twitter bans former CIA intelligence officer and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and says he violated “targeted harassment” rule.
On Wednesday, Twitter “permanently suspended” former CIA intelligence officer Scott Ritter, accusing him of participating in prohibited behavior by questioning Ukrainian authorities’ allegations that Russian soldiers massacred civilians in Bucha, near Kiev.
Ritter is best known for challenging US claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which were used as a pretext for the 2003 invasion by Washington.
“So apparently I’ve been suspended from Twitter for the crime of challenging the orthodox narrative of the so-called Bucha massacre,” Ritter said on his Telegram channel, sharing a screenshot of the message he received from the Big Tech platform.
“I’ve appealed, so who knows what the future will bring,” Ritter said, adding that “Freedom of speech in America today is an endangered concept.”
According to the screenshot, Twitter’s censors decided that Ritter had violated their rules against “harassment and abuse” by claiming that Ukrainian police had committed crimes against humanity in Bucha and were attempting to blame Russia with the support of the US.
Ritter’s tweet did not call for abuse or harassment, nor did it threaten anybody with physical harm, according to Shadowproof journalist Kevin Gosztola, who said that his ban “shows how Twitter Rules can be twisted to silence US foreign policy critics.”
According to Gosztola, the rules were recently modified to include “denying mass casualty events took place,” but Ritter had not done so.