The micro-blogging website, Twitter, has suspended the account of Newsday Zimbabwe for reason not yet known.
Followers of the account were mystified when the profile page for Newsday Zimbabwe’s Twitter read ‘Account suspended and all the tweets had disappeared.
This led to a number of conspiracy theories about why the account had been suspended.
However, Newsday Zimbabwe said their account had not been hacked or deliberately suspended.
No further details have been disclosed.
According to Twitter, common reasons for suspension may include spam, account security at risk and abusive tweets or behaviour.
Under Twitter’s abusive tweets or behaviour position, under reasons why accounts get suspended, it states: “We may suspend an account if it has been reported to us as violating our Rules surrounding abuse. When an account engages in abusive behaviour, like sending threats to others or impersonating other accounts, we may suspend it temporarily or, in some cases, permanently.”
The suspension came to light when Newsday’s sister paper The Standard sent an SOS to @Wamagaisa @usembassyharare. The Standard portrayed the suspension as an act of suppressing freedom of the press.
Said The Standard, “NewsDay is a critical watchdog in Zimbabwe in its role as a press in a democratic society. By suspending its Twitter account, @TwitterSupport is suppressing freedom of the press. Is @Twitter silencing democratic voices?”
Twitter’s policy forbids accounts that “promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people” on the basis of personal characteristics.
It was unclear what specific action warranted the Newsday’s suspension.
Newsday is a Zimbabwe based independent daily newspaper.