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Twitter reinstates anti-Doug Ford account

Last Updated Oct 12, 2017 at 12:57 pm EDT

A Twitter account criticizing soon-to-be mayoral candidate Doug Ford is back up and running after being slapped with a suspension on Monday.

The group behind @DougFordFacts got a notice from the social media giant on Monday saying the account had been suspended.

It filed an appeal and got a reply saying the account was “in violation of the policy on impersonation” and would not be restored.

However, Twitter seemed to have a change of heart and reinstated the account on Wednesday evening.

According to the group, Twitter sent them a message at 11:09 p.m. stating that the account “does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules” and apologized for any inconvenience.

In a post on Reddit, the group thanked the public for its help.

“Thank you to everyone who brought this to Twitter’s attention, and to Twitter for doing the right thing on a very short timeline,” the post read.

The group also stood by its commitment to a “facts-first approach” to the upcoming mayoral race.

“This is far from an earth-shattering issue, but we must stand up to bullying politicians — of all persuasions — who try to stifle public debate,” the post said. “That’s not why we elect them. That’s not why they get to leave the house.”

Twitter Canada spokesman Cameron Gordon told CityNews that accounts can be locked or limited for various reasons and if an account is suspended, users can appeal if they feel it was wrongfully suspended.

As for the specific reason the suspension was lifted on the @DougFordFacts account, Gordon said, “We do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.”

This was the second time in the past two months that an account criticizing Doug Ford account had been suspended.

On Aug. 31, Twitter suspended @DougFrod, a satirical account mocking Ford. User Richard Feren appealed, but the account has not been reinstated.

“Twitter absolutely needs to protect users against trolls and malicious impersonation,” Henderson said. “But now politicians are abusing the rules to stifle public criticism, and that’s not right. We know that private commentary accounts are a small part of the political discourse but citizens still deserve a voice.”

Ford announced last month he would join the race for mayor in 2018. He also ran in 2014 to replace his brother Rob Ford, who had a terminal cancer, but lost to John Tory.

Ford has not responded to a request for comment.