Twitter has failed to clarify whether any conservative commentators or journalists were included in the list of "violent extremists" the site claims to have suspended.
The site said in a press release Thursday that it had banned 235,000 accounts linked to "violent extremism" between February and August, but did not say specifically that they were linked to the Islamic State. The social networking giant did not return multiple inquiries submitted by the Washington Examiner seeking to find out how it defined "extremism," or whether it included conservatives either broadly speaking or in specific reference to media personality Milo Yiannopoulos.
Yiannopoulos, a gay conservative who works as an editor for Breitbart News, was permanently banned from the platform in July. The site refuses to comment on the circumstances surrounding when it decides to ban users, but the action was widely linked to Yiannopoulos' criticism of Leslie Jones, a liberal black actress.
In February, the site announced its formation of a "Trust and Safety Council" aimed at fighting objectionable users on the site. A statement announcing the group, like the statement issued on Thursday, excluded any reference to the Islamic State, instead saying its mission was to "ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely."
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Since the creation of the group, Twitter has banned some high profile users including 25-year-old rapper Azealia Banks. Though Banks had a history of using obscene language on the Internet, her expulsion from Twitter came only after a series of May 7 messages in which she endorsed Donald Trump. She was booted from the site five days later, prompting critics to wonder whether there was a connection.
In an effort to test whether there was a double standard for conservatives on the site shortly after Yiannopoulos was banned, Kassy Dillon, a writer for the conservative college publication Campus Reform, posted a message that lifted language directly from Leslie Jones, the actress believed to be linked to the ban of Yiannopoulos. "You and your friends are bigots," said the tweet, which Dillon directed at Jones. "If you don't like me why the [expletive] do you watch let alone contact me. Kill yourself bigot."
Dillon was subsequently banned, though her account was restored without explanation weeks later. It remains unclear whether her account was included in the number Twitter suspended this year.