Inside Twitter’s bot purge

Over the past 24 hours, Twitter suddenly deleted thousands of accounts as part of a massive crackdown on automated bots on the platform.

The pulldown took place quite literally in the middle of the night, without warning or explanation from the company.

Leading right-wing trolls and conspiracy theorists, many of whom woke up this morning to discover that their follower numbers had plunged by the thousands, kicked off and outrage cycle, accusing Twitter of censorship, violating their free speech, and unfairly punishing conservatives.

Right-wing agitators and white supremacists including Michael Flynn, Jr., Richard Spencer, Cassandra Fairbanks, and Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson all complained about losing thousands of followers. Other conservative users and their supporters have begun using the hashtag #TwitterLockOut to voice their anger on the issue.