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TWITTER has been accused of political censorship for suspending a man’s account after he used it to criticise the Tories over their treatment of his dying brother.
Noel Stevenson made a video appealing directly to then Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) secretary Amber Rudd to stop forcing people with debilitating terminal illnesses to undergo work assessments.
The video was made in support of his brother Ron Stevenson, who was told by the DWP to attend a work assessment despite being paralysed with motor neurone disease.
Noel’s video appeal received widespread publicity and his MP Nicholas Soames wrote to tell him he had met Ms Rudd and that she was going to change the policy.
However, Noel said: “Ron died in August but the policy hasn’t changed.”
After his brother’s death and with the general election approaching, he used Twitter to tell his brother’s story and show a video of his brother’s appeal to Ms Rudd.
Noel said: “Ron hated Boris Johnson and hated the Tories. So with the video I was giving him a voice from the grave.
“It went bananas. It attracted 12,000 likes and was retweeted 7,500 times.
“Only two people out of all the kind and supportive well-wishers — many expressing outrage against this Tory government — were negative and insulting. I challenged them both.
“One of them continued to be insulting and I returned his insults with interest, my language appropriately choice. He was out of order and I told him so.
“Then the man complained to Twitter and they suspended me for a week because of the comment.”
When he protested about the suspension, Twitter told him: “Our support team has determined that a violation (of Twitter rules) did take place and therefore we will not overturn our decision.”
Noel said he believed Twitter was “using unprecedented action to stop anti-Tory protest.
“OK, I was rude to him, but you have to take it in context. Ron was a special man to many, not just to me. This is a deliberate attempt to gag anti-Tory anti-Johnson protest.”
Twitter had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.
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