Entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy expressed concern over one Twitter user’s account termination after posting a joke tweet aimed at the company’s forthcoming CEO.
Tower Gang Podcast’s Daniel, who goes by “TopLobsta,” was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday after tweeting a joke about newly appointed CEO Linda Yaccarino.
“Nuking someone for a figure or speech and a joke to boot?” said fellow Tower Gang member Clint Russell, who hosts the podcast Liberty Lockdown, commenting on TopLobsta’s account termination. “Say it ain’t so.”
Ramaswamy said TopLobsta’s termination is “is not a good look for a free speech platform to censor someone for making an innocent joke about the new CEO of that free speech platform. Assuming this is accurate, this strikes me as an unforced error that Elon Musk can and should easily fix.”
If this is true, it’s not a good look for a free speech platform to censor someone for making an innocent joke about the new CEO of that free speech platform. Assuming this is accurate, this strikes me as an unforced error that @elonmusk can & should easily fix. https://t.co/JBrL0HLee9
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) May 15, 2023
Following Musk’s announcement of Yaccarino’s appointment, users began criticizing her professional history which included serving as Executive Chair in the Klaus Schwab-founded World Economic Forum (WEF) since January 2019.
Similar to other users, TopLobsta made a series of tweets critical of Musk’s appointment including one post saying, “the future of who runs Twitter is more important than the future of who runs America.”
He asked Musk, “Have you considered this?”
Following user pushback over Yaccarino’s appointment, Musk tweeted he and the newly appointed CEO would host a Twitter Spaces to field questions and concerns from users.
“We’d prefer you launch Linda Yaccarino into space,” TopLobsta quipped, referencing Musk’s work with SpaceX.
TopLobsta’s account was permanently suspended shortly after.
“I walk the line but have done well in not getting suspended permanently until yesterday,” TopLobsta told Timcast News, saying he believed his joke about launching Yaccarino into space is what led to his account’s termination.
The podcaster provided a screenshot of his email from Twitter noting his account had been permanently suspended due to “violations of our Terms of Service.”
“The explanation is vague,” he said. “Doesn’t link to an offense, doesn’t specify which rule was violated. Just gone.”
“I appealed and got an immediate answer that I will not be reinstated,” he continued. “My other tweets at Elon and Linda were not violations of TOS but they were harsh and accurate criticisms.”
“I used [my account] to communicate and work for creators like Hotep Jesus, Gavin McInnes, and Maajid Nawaz,” he said, noting his Twitter account had also been used to obtain employment as a merchandising manager.
TopLobsta, who works directly with comedians Luis J. Gomez and Ralph Sutton, said his Twitter account was the main source of traffic to his website where he runs his business Merch Engine, a subsidiary of Gas Digital which produces merchandise thumbnails, art, and merchandise for content creators including Dave Smith’s Part of the Problem.
Tower Gang podcast describes itself as “the REAL most offensive comedy podcast on Earth!”
Since the announcement of Yaccarino’s appointment, Musk has attempted to quell users’ frustrations by expressing confidence in his choice.
“I hear your concerns, but don’t judge too early,” he said. “I am adamant about defending free speech, even if it means losing money.”
Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change suggested the platform would return to its previous practice of shadowbanning users — to which Musk responded, “that will not be the case.”
Yaccarino has worked for NBCUniversal over 11 years, serving as the chairman of global advertising and partnerships, advertising and client partnerships, and the president of cable entertainment and digital advertising sales. Prior to NBCUniversal, Yaccarino was executive vice president/COO of advertising sales, marketing and acquisitions with Turner, formerly known as Turner Broadcasting Systems.