The New York Conservative Party's Twitter account was suspended and then lifted on Thursday, a development that sparked an outcry from Republican lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly.
The Twitter account was down for at least several weeks; it's last tweet prior to the outage was in July 9.
But the incident goes to the heart of a long-standing argument for many on the right: Social media platforms have outsize power over political speech.
“The blatant political bias being exhibited by Twitter and its executives is absolutely inexcusable," said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay before the suspension was lifted. "Arbitrarily suspending the account of the New York Conservative Party – precisely at a time when connecting to voters is most important – violates the basic principles of free speech. This discriminatory suspension has gone on long enough and must be reversed immediately."
Social media companies have tried to chart an at-times bumpy obstacle course of curtailing hate speech on their platforms while also encouraging a broad user base.
The Conservative Party's Twitter presence is a relatively modest one. Prior to its suspension, the account was retweeting Rep. Elise Stefanik several times and had tweeted criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.