Twitter Permanently Bans Paul Sperry After Posting on the Mar-A-Lago Raid

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Twitter continued to crackdown on dissenting political views this week with the permanent suspension of columnist and commentator Paul Sperry.  The suspension came down after Sperry allegedly tweeted about the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Sperry said that Twitter gave “No warning, no explanation, reason given.” That is a signature for the company, which has little transparency or ability to challenge such private censorship.

Twitter has a long and documented history of suspending those with dissenting political, social, or scientific views, particularly before major elections. Sperry says that he tweeted the following:

Funny, don’t remember the FBI raiding Chappaqua or Whitehaven to find the 33,000 potential classified documents Hillary Clinton deleted. And she was just a former secretary of state, not a former president.

DEVELOPING: Investigators reportedly met back in June w Trump & his lawyers in Mar-a-Lago storage rm to survey docs & things seemed copasetic but then FBI raids weeks later. Speculation on Hill FBI had PERSONAL stake & searching for classified docs related to its #Spygate scandal.

Sperry went on to note that “the current deputy general counsel at Twitter is also the former general counsel at FBI HQ under Comey. His name as you may know is James Baker, and he was the top attorney who reviewed the fraudulent anti-Trump FISA wiretap warrants for probable cause.”

Obviously, all of those points can be — and have been contested — by others. However, that is the point. Social media should be a place for the exchange of viewpoints as part of our national dialogue on controversies like the Mar-a-Lago raid. Twitter, however, has long dispensed with any pretense of neutrality in limiting such discussion to fit its own corporate agenda.

This is precisely why the takeover of Elon Musk is so important for free speech. The company seemingly wrote off free speech years ago. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was asked how Twitter would balance its efforts to combat misinformation with wanting to “protect free speech as a core value” and to respect the First Amendment. He responded dismissively that the company is “not to be bound by the First Amendment” and will regulate content as “reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”

Musk could rectify such abuses by adopting a First Amendment approach advocated in earlier columns. That includes breaking down the extensive censorship bureaucracy at Twitter, starting at the top. That move is already likely as evident in the tearful remarks of Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust, to her staff this week. Gadde, like Twitter CEO Parag Agrawalis notorious in the free speech community for her record of censorship, including her role in banning Donald Trump as well as the New York Post story on the Hunter Biden laptop. Taking over as CEO and immediately removing such figures will have a clear impact. However, new measures should also include publishing the algorithms and finally achieving transparency in the decision-making at Twitter over content. This should also include a full accounting of any means used in the past to control online discussions, including throttling or shadow banning.

Twitter can adopt a general free speech platform model while allowing individuals to apply specific filters to block racist terms or profane language. Free speech includes the right to readers to choose what they read. The key is that the decision can be left to readers rather than imposed by the company. Just as you can walk away from speakers in the town square, you can choose what you read. You can also choose to read more broadly. Twitter can leave such decisions in the hands of the consumer.

As we approach the critical midterm election, Twitter’s censorship cadre appears to be ramping up controls on what views can be expressed or read. Agrawal’s pledge to limit discussion to “healthy” viewpoints continues to manifest itself in Twitter’s burgeoning censorship system.



99 thoughts on “Twitter Permanently Bans Paul Sperry After Posting on the Mar-A-Lago Raid”

  1. It goes without saying:After Donald J Trump won the Presidential election in 2016, social media took care that information (e.g. “Labtop from Hell”) that hurt Democrats in 2020 election were censored. So far so bad.

    What is the impact about narratives played by mainstream media? Look at reports of 9 1/2h FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago on Monday: The search warrant was approved because former President didn’t comply with provisions of PRA.

    After it was disclosed on Wednesday that fully cooperated to grand jury subpoena executed on 6/3 and AG Garland said yesterday, that he had approved the search warrant, more and more questions arrised why so much ado about documentary materials for NARA? Hours later, WaPo had the answer: It’s not about NARA, its about National Security! “FBI agents appear to have been on the hunt for classified documents related to nuclear weapons because government officials fear that papers could be obtained by bad actors.”

    Really? If I am not mistaken, than President Trump left WH on 1/20/21.

    1. How and when did they find the way to Mar-a-Lago?
    2. Who store a where did these papers sleep?
    3. What did he do with these documents during the last 19 months?
    4. To whom did the former President talk about the documents in question?
    5. Why did officials not find them on 6/3?
    6. On which occasion did the whistleblower found these documents?
    7. When did s/he informed officials?
    8. Why didn’t officials not issue a 2nd grand jury supoena as the 1st worked?
    9. Why need the FBI 9 1/2h and 20+ manpower for the search, as the operative could locate these documents?
    10. Why did the whistleblower leaked the information hours after AGs presser?

    As the affidavit – the most informative document – will not unsealed, we only can speculate.

    For those interested how history handled classified documents: Search for X Envelope & Walt Rostow [1-2 among many others]:


  2. I unsubscribed several years ago. I felt like I opened the portal to hell reading some of the comments!

  3. Jonathan: You are beating a dead horse if you think Musk is actually going to buy Twitter. Even if he does Twitter will not resemble the “free speech” forum you envision. A Musk Twitter will reflect his views. It will look like Trump’s “Truth Social” where critics of Trump can’t even get an account. That’s why “Truth Social” has been a dismal failure.

    So let’s get to breaking news about the search of Mar-a-Lago. Looks like you have a lot of egg on your face. Turns out just about everything you claimed about the search was false. You claimed the DOJ didn’t attempt “voluntary compliance” or a subpoena. For over a year the National Archives sought voluntary compliance. And the DOJ did issue a subpoena back in the spring but Trump stonewalled. He didn’t go to court to challenge the subpoena. It was only after Trump continued to resist turning over the docs did AG Garland authorized the search warrant.

    Trump says the search was “unprecedented”. That’s the only part that is true. He says no other person has been subjected to such an intrusive search. That’s because most of us don’t keep top secret US docs in our basements. Trump has also demanded the DOJ release the warrant. Apparently, Trump’s attorney didn’t tell him he has the right to do it. AG Garland called Trump’s bluff and bluster by saying he has asked the federal judge to unseal the warrant..

    Now, it looks like there is a lot of finger pointing in the Trump camp because there was an informant inside Mar-a-Lago who told the FBI where to find the purloined docs. At Mar-a-Lago it’s like a shark feeding frenzy. An unnamed source at Mar-a-Lago says: “To be honest, a lot of it feels like people trying to screw over the ones they don’t like”. Marjorie Taylor Greene who sees conspiracies everywhere said: “Who is that, and how many other FBI informants are around President Trump on a daily basis, working at his clubs, working at Mar-a-Lago, or maybe Bedminster or on his staff. These are the things I want to know. Because they’re traitors. They are traitors, and they’re helping the deep state”. If Marjorie had her way a firing wall and squad would already be set up at Mar-a-Lago.

    Don’t you just love it when the sharks start feeding on each other!

    1. Hahaha! Reading the Washington Post? Confidential sources?
      You liberal clowns are so gullible. Merrick Garland still has the wedgie up his A because he didn’t get to be a Supreme Court Justice. It’s not about rule of law it’s about making sure Trump can’t become President because this time biden, his POS son and other corrupt democrats are going down.

  4. I have 10-hours left on a 7-Day ban for calling Cheney a political grifter who didn’t fall far off the branch of her War Criminal Father. Ten years ago I’d have been given a medal by the leftists who run Twitter for my comment, but since they both sold their souls to the Democrats they’re protected figures and, I got banned.

  5. Musk will not be the savior of free speech on twitter (a common carrier – every government entity is on twitter and uses it to communicate to the public, even emergency messaging and updates) because it is a mockingbird tool of government and Musk’s entire wealth and businesses are based on government contracts, regulatory power, and potential punishment through govy entities like the DOJ = he is controlled by the government, something he probable hadn’t realized until after he waded into this. As many have called for, but funny no one has carried out through any legislative body in the US, it’s going to take enacting laws to make twitter comport with what they have become a common carrier.

  6. RE:”No Twitter Quitters” That individuals are not leaving that rag like rats fleeing the Titanic is something I have yet to fathom.

  7. One more thing — James Baker has disgraced himself professionally. His conduct and comments in the Sussman affair leave no doubt. Musk has a lot of ‘house-clearning’ to do once he takes over.

  8. Jack Dorsey has been silent, which is his right. But he unleashed ‘Twitter’ upon us many years ago, and grew it over time into what it became, and now has become.
    I’d like to hear Dorsey’s view on Agrawal’s statement that basically there is no 1st amendment right of free speech on Twitter – Twitter decides what people will hear, and won’t hear.

    1. There is no First Amendment right of free speech on Twitter. Twitter is a private company, and all users agree to its Terms of Service, and it is free to delete comments or ban users per that ToS.

      Twitter does not decide what people will hear and won’t hear, as people are entirely free to say what they want in the actual public square. Twitter only decides what they will host on Twitter, as is their own First Amendment right.

      1. But the terms cannot be overly vague, or arbitrary and capricious.
        That’s like saying “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” at a restaurant and then conveniently only finding black people violating your dress/conduct standards.

        1. They can post any terms they want. It’s THEIR platform. Anybody who agrees to their TOS upon joining they have legally agreed that Twitter has a right to revoke your membership or moderate your content if it violates the terms that were agreed upon. Most people don’t think twice about just hitting the “I agree” button. The second you do it’s precisely the moment you gave up certain rights.

      2. Anonymous- your legal recitation may or may not be correct, I don’t know. However, it’s beside the point. Whether within its rights or not, T has acted in a staunchly partisan, censorious manner. It is a progressive organ with an agenda, and the agenda is unconcerned with the human right of free expression. This has been readily acknowledged by its new boss. You may think this is fine. Whether you would continue to think so if they censored your side is another story.

  9. FYI – I looked into this when I wrote my piece on Substack titled: “Twitter Operates a Modern-Day Star Chamber Working at the Behest of the Government to Silence ‘Dangerous’ Speech from People like Paul Sperry. The Stanford Hoover Institute fellow, journalist, and author was suspended from Twitter over his criticism of the FBI’s raid on the former president’s home.”

    I suspect that the reason Twitter will cite is that Paul circumvented his PRIOR ban by creating a new account. He used to be @paulsperry_ to and then after his ban became @paulsperry30

    1. Bingo. It’s a government (mockingbird) controlled entity. And a common carrier – where are you repub legislators pontificators on making this law………

  10. “Anonymous” claiming that he being censored trying to use the heckler’s veto is like a guy blowing a whistle at a college speech claiming first Amendment rights to blow the whistle. It is bassackwards.

    1. I’m very seldom censored. I’m actually referring to people who’ve been banned, as should be totally clear from my having said that Turley “bans people for comments that would be protected speech under the First Amendment.” And I was referring to people on the left AND right, Jeff Silberman AND This Is Absurd / Art Deco, for example. Both were banned for speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. And Turley certainly has the right to do that, but he’s a hypocrite for calling on Twitter to act in ways that he refuses to act in himself.

      1. Except that I am sure Turley will provide a reason and allow an appeal.
        Twitter flagged and demanded I delete a Tweet because it was “abusive and expressed threats or wishing harm to others”
        Verbatim Tweet:
        On what grounds? He should’ve “taken his beating” like the jackass prosecutor implied? Rittenhouse is no hero, it was a tragic set of circumstances but the right guy walked away unhurt. I guess he’s one person who NEEDED an AR-15.

        I asked them to tell me specifically what violated their TOS. They never answered.

      2. Jeff Silberman was banned for being abusive toward Darren.
        And it not just one occasion. He had made implied threats and demands, non-apologies at Darren before.

        Some people think making threats, using racist, or anti-Semitic language, calling for hostile acts or violence on a person or group of people is within their 1stA right.
        It is the professor’s blog. Just like Twitter, he and Darren can deem what is acceptable free speech and what is not.
        Those whom have been banned or censored, what language was used to get them banned or censored?

        1. Again, of course Turley has the legal right to ban people. So does Twitter. I’m simply noting Turley’s hypocrisy in calling for Twitter to act in a way that Turley himself does not act.

          1. “. . . Turley’s hypocrisy . . .”

            Again with the context-dropping, to deceive people (and to smear Turley).

            Turley bans commenters for uncivilized behavior. Twitter bans them for expressing opinions they disagree with.

            1. No, Twitter bans people for violating the Terms of Service. They allow all sorts of opinions that they don’t agree with.

  11. Professor Turkey’s observations identify the most serious challenge to America, which is the attempt to destroy what makes us a unique country- our 1st amendment rights. Do not underestimate the power, influence and persistence of the American and international left as they chip away at our most valuable freedom by miseducating our children on this issue. We will never be able to take back the public education system. Supporting unwoke media vigorously is what will save us.

    1. Professor Turkey has a big problem with being a hypocrite. Twitter is a private entity which also has 1st amendment rights.

      If Twitter censors content it seems a violation of its TOS it is 100% within their right to do so. Turkey has that same right and so does Trump. Turley regularly deletes posts that violate its TOS without an explanation either.

      1. Is twitter still banning people who write about Hunter Bidens Laptop that 51 Intelligence agents told the world was russian disinformation?? Russian disinformation JUST LIKE the fake Russian Collusion that HILLARY paid for. Is there ANY wonder non-Braindead Americans can see through the lies they are spewing but Progressives are immune to the truth??

  12. My sources are telling me that they have found the correspondence between Putin and Trump on how they stole the 2016 election.

    This is it. It’s the big one.

    Walls closing in………beginning of the end………….

  13. The left operates by institutional ignorance. It is a cornerstone of leftist dogma. They can’t be exposed to a wide array of information. twitter is just one on hundreds that works toward that goal

  14. Twitter may be legally entitled to be a propaganda arm for the left, but that doesn’t make it right – especially when they have the power to influence elections.

    Just read a couple of comments by Anonymous; he is still butt hurt about some of his stupid comments being dropped by Turley, so he will be on here all day.

    1. Monument, “Anonymous” is a scourge as he attempts to use the “heckler’s veto” to stymie discussion on a site he abhors. I hate CNN and <SNBC and guess what…I don't go there. Liberals are not content with ignoring that with which they disagree, they need to shut it down. This is done under the guise of claiming that Republicans are a threat, a danger, outside of main thought and therefore NEED to be banned. It is a fascistic game that hopefully they will lose.

      1. Hullbobby, that’s not what a Hecklers veto is. A heckler’s veto “doctrine” has sometimes been articulated as the principle that the Constitution requires the government to control the crowd in order to defend the communication of ideas, rather than to suppress the speech. Yet the larger the opposition grows and the more difficult it is for the government to protect the speaker, the more compelling become the practical considerations in restricting or removing the speaker from the scene.

  15. Hey Turley, just face the jury and answer the question: Do you support Donald Trump for President in 2024? You have the right to remain silent.

    1. Hey Stud”irony”, are you aware of the fact that in America, so far, we have what is called a secret ballot. I am more interested in who 99% of professors vote for, but I won’t ask them.

      BTW, Turley voted for Hillary, but hey, you do you.

    2. If Biden or Harris are the candidates. I would vote for anyone over them. As for those would vote for Biden again “You have the right to remain stupid”

    3. Hey Turley, just face the jury and answer the question: Do you support Donald Trump

      Why would you think that. I have never seen the Prof Support the President in any way.

    4. What policies of Biden do you support the most and why?

      Is your favorite, Biden begging the Arabs for oil or the Russians for oil? Tell us.

  16. Agarwal is typical foreign-born, third-world, anti-American trash elevated by our antagonistic elites to curtail our rights. He’s a well-paid pawn with no love of nor appreciation for our God-give.rights, history or traditions, in short, a globalist who sees everyday Americans as a serf class. We really need to fight this guy in whatever form he chooses.

          1. Aninny:

            “They’re not a utility.”
            Utility: To send or transfer from one person or place to another, or to communicate. State v. Robbins, 253 N.C. 47, 116 S.E.2d 192, 193. (Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Edition.)

            Utility: 16 USC § 796(23): Transmitting utility .— The term “transmitting utility” means an entity (including an entity described in section 824(f) of this title ) that owns, operates, or controls facilities used for the transmission of electric energy— (A) in interstate commerce; (B) for the sale of electric energy at wholesale.

            public utility n. any organization which provides services to the general public, although it may be privately owned. Public utilities include electric, gas, telephone, water, and television cable systems, as well as streetcar and bus lines. They are allowed certain monopoly rights due to the practical need to service entire geographic areas with one system, but they are regulated by state, county and/or city public utility commissions under state laws. (The Free Dictionary)

            Funny, you never challenge my definitons with contrary citations, you just embarras yourself.

      1. “Anonymous”, do you support the phone company’s right to ban calls from conservatives? Do you support the post office’s right to not deliver the mail of Republicans? Do you support the right of the rest of us to ignore your insane rantings?

        1. Please do ignore me.

          You have a weak understanding of the First Amendment. The phone company does not have a First Amendment right to ban calls based on the phone owner’s/user’s political affiliation. The USPS does not have a First Amendment right to refuse mail delivery based on the sender’s/recipient’s political affiliation. Twitter does have a First Amendment right not to host speech that contravenes their ToS.

          1. “The phone company does not have a First Amendment right to ban calls based on the phone owner’s/user’s political affiliation.”

            Why not?

            1. Jim22:

              “Why not?”
              Same reason they can’t charge you a million dollars a kilowat hour. Because they are a regulated industry.

    1. There’s truth to that – he comes from a legitimately caste society, and yes, even the most enlightened of people over there do indeed think that way due to enculturation. People do not easily, if at all, leave the servant class in Desi culture. He likely sees middle America through precisely that lens, and he wouldn’t be here to work for Twitter in the first place did he not come from wealth. The left’s cries of wealthy elitism for non-dems is rich, pun intended.

      1. James:
        “There’s truth to that – he comes from a legitimately caste society, and yes, even the most enlightened of people over there do indeed think that way due to enculturation.”
        Exactly right. A nicer version of my point. Freely import the third-world, get third-world values. It’s as old a story of scoietal demise as the ancient Romans. Any kind other than intellectual diversity kills societies.

        1. Yup. It is yet another irony that the proclaimers of cultural appropriation have no idea what constitutes the cultures in question to begin with. Culture = costume to an awful lot of the American populace. Sombreros! Saris! Hijabs! A bindi does not mean a person understands. That goes way back, though – we wouldn’t have these issues if natural born Americans (regardless of cultural background, BTW) could fill the positions at these companies. They can’t. that is OUR failure. If we don’t address it soon, I don’t know how we ever will. My wife is a lawyer turned teacher, and coincidentally also hails from a Desi country originally; this year she has 14 year-olds that are at kindergarten level across the board, just passed along over the years. This is not a joke, and it is not hyperbole. No special needs, IEPs, or behavioral issues. Just lazy and coddled by their parents, and their parents do their assignments for them with absolutely no shame, and it is obvious that they do.

  17. “Musk could rectify such abuses by adopting a First Amendment approach advocated in earlier columns. ”

    Note that Turley himself doesn’t adopt that approach. He bans people for comments that would be protected speech under the First Amendment. And he is free to do so. As is Twitter. Because both Turley and Twitter have their own First Amendment rights, including the right not to host comments they do not want to host. At least Twitter has an appeal process, which Turley/Darren do not.

    1. He bans people for comments that would be protected speech under the First Amendment

      He bans trolls, that admitt their goal is disruption.

      1. Who is a troll is a matter of opinion. Regardless, their speech is protected by the First Amendment, and Turley is a hypocrite for calling on Twitter to act in ways that he refuses to commit to himself.

        He is also a weak legal “scholar” who refuses to address the fact that Twitter has its own First Amendment rights.

        1. Trolls are analogous to yelling fire in a crowded theater. Their intent is to create mayhem and destruction. Are you claiming Paul Sperry’s intent was to cause Mayhem?

          1. Learn the accurate reference. It’s **falsely** shouting “fire” in a theater and causing a panic. It’s entirely legal to shout “fire!” when there’s a fire. As Justice Holmes went on to say: “The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” Trolling does not create a clear and present danger idiot, so no, it’s not analogous.

            1. Trolling does not create a clear and present danger idiot, so no, it’s not analogous.

              I said analogous. I, like millions before use the bumper sticker phrasing “cant yell fire in a theater”. All but pedantic boorish trolls, desperate to deflect, would comment on such use.
              Sure it does. Danger, to the purpose of the entity. Free speech is not to protect persons from physical danger. Mayhem and destruction. Turley rids himself of commenters that are a danger to the purpose of his site.

              1. LOL that your excuse is that lots of other people make the same mistake as you. No doubt you also say you “could care less” when what you mean is that you “couldn’t care less.”

                And then you truly twist the meaning of Justice Holmes words. If your claim were true, the government could prosecute trolls. It doesn’t because whatever mayhem they create is NOT a “clear and present danger” in SCOTUS’s interpretations of that phrase.

                1. If your claim were true, the government could prosecute trolls

                  We have all agreed, private business can do as they please. Your deflection to criminal law proves you have lost the debate. Is free speech the best way to operate?

                  If you want to talk about SCOTUS you have to square Master Piece Cake, with free speech. Seems free speech is situational for SCOTUS. Same as the Roe logic that just got fixed.

        2. “[Turley] is also a weak legal ‘scholar’ . . .”

          Okay, Mr. Burden of Proof — prove it.

          What is your standard of “strong legal scholar?”

          Please provide examples of those who qualify, with citations to their “strong” works, and comprehensive explanations of why their arguments qualify as “strong” ones.

          In what ways, specifically, does Turley *not* qualify? Please cite his works. Then provide a comprehensive explanation of why his arguments are “weak” ones.

          Please also cite your qualifications for making such claims. (Fair warning: Unless you are a big picture, knowledgeable and experienced, published legal scholar — you’re in over your head.)

          Since such evidence will not be forthcoming: Your incessant smears of Turley are utterly arbitrary — and vicious.

          1. Me: “[Turley] is also a weak legal “scholar” who refuses to address the fact that Twitter has its own First Amendment rights.”
            You: “Okay, Mr. Burden of Proof — prove it.”

            Sure: read the column. Nowhere in the column does he address the fact that Twitter has its own First Amendment rights. This is proof of a negative claim, and as is common in mathematics, the way you prove it is by inspection (in this case, inspecting each of the finite number of sentences and noting that that sentence does not address the fact that Twitter has its own First Amendment rights). The term “proof by inspection” is fairly common in math and sometimes in CS; if you’d like examples, here are a couple:
            * (see Remark 1.2 on p. 5)
            * (see Proposition 6)
            It is my opinion that Turley is a weak legal scholar (and again: opinions are not T/F claims) because he fails to address significant issues such as the fact that Twitter has its own First Amendment rights. You are free to have a different opinion.

            1. “This is proof of . . .”

              You are a wantonly dishonest, intellectual poseur.

              But, of course, that is just my “opinion.” You are free to have a different opinion — though not that free.

    2. That’s a good point. I would add that even Trump’s truth social platform has been censoring speech and criticism as well yet Turley is expectedly silent about that.

      Twitter has every right to censor and conduct its platform as it sees fit just like Turley and Trump do.

      For a “free speech” advocate Turley sure is the hypocrite he obviously is.

      1. Classic case of ‘whataboutism’ to pretend there’s some sort of significant issue.

        Truth Social – 2 million users (which surprised me, I didn’t think that there were even that many).
        Twitter – THREE HUNDRED MILLION users.

        1. Trolling does not create a clear and present danger idiot, so no, it’s not analogous.

          Half of those are bots. Some one did a back of the envelope calculation. Over the last 5 years people have been dropping off twitter, but the user numbers stay the same. BOTs are replacing users leaving

        2. The number of users is irrelevant. They all agreed to their respective platform’s TOS. Both Twitter and Truth Social have identical TOS’s.

      2. I think Svelaz has taken over Jeff Silberman’s position of bashing Turley as a way of pleasuring himself.

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