She’s Still Standing …
On Jan. 8, 2021, Twitter & PayPal banned and demonetized Tracy Beanz & UncoverDC.com. Beanz reveals how this impacted her business and the ‘workarounds’ she’s adopted to overcome this censorship.
UPDATE: On Dec. 18, 2022, I received an email from Tracy Beanz. Her Twitter account has now been restored. Also, the Twitter account for UncoverDC.com has been re-stored. You can follow Tracy at @tracybeanz.
Full disclosure: I’m a regular contributor to UncoverDC.com and have received payments for some of these articles.
Call it the “Friday Afternoon Massacre,” the day Twitter delivered a shock-and-awe message to defenders of free speech by permanently suspending the posting account of the President of the United States.
In one second on Friday, January 8, 2021, President Donald J. Trump could no longer communicate directly with his nearly 89 million Twitter followers. But the President was not the only American banned by a wide-spread “purge” of allegedly dangerous right-wing extremists, all charged with spreading disinformation and violating the opaque rules of the blue bird social media giant. The purge - the permanent bans - affected hundreds if not thousands of Twitter users.
Among those in this group was one journalist and publisher, Tracy Beanz, founder of the investigative journalism site UncoverDC.com.
With one notification, Twitter took away Benz’s ability to communicate with her 987,000 followers, Beanz says. Soon after this, PayPal cancelled the ability of Beanz or her company to receive funds from clients and subscribers. Several months later, Twitter banned the account of UncoverDC.com. In one second, one of the more influential conservative investigative journalists in the world (and there’s not many of those) was cancelled, de-monetized and thrown under the tank in a political battle that got very hot very fast.
According to Beanz, the moves, while not unexpected, turned her life upside down.
“We took a significant hit. It was terrible,” she said in a recent telephone interview.
Beanz says the changes cost her “a significant amount” in lost revenue or income. It had taken Beanz more than five years to develop almost a million followers. The main way Beanz promoted the original articles at UncoverDC was through tweets, which she could no longer make. She also could no longer afford to pay freelance journalists the stipends she’d previously been paying for stories.
Never spoken to a live human being at Twitter about her case ….
Almost three years later, Beanz is still not clear what she or her company did to warrant such a draconian punishment.
“I never had any ‘strikes’ or warnings (this was coming),” she said.
The official explanation said only that she had been permanently suspended for “violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for: Violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam.
You may not use Twitter’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Twitter.”
Beanz appealed her ban and months later was told in writing that she had also been engaging in “harmful activity,” a claim she says is “ridiculous.”
To this day, she says she’s never spoken to a live human being at Twitter.
Beanz is not the only journalist or news organization who has been banned by Twitter, but she is perhaps the only one who has been permanently banned.
The New York Post was banned after truthfully breaking details of the Hunter Biden laptop. Zero Hedge was banned for reporting on the possibility the coronavirus escaped from a lab. Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson was banned for his contrarian (but true) Covid reporting. But all three of these journalists or news organizations had their posting privileges later restored. (Berenson had to sue and reach a settlement to get his ban lifted. Update: Benson has now had his account suspended again).
Beanz said she doesn’t rule out the possibility of future lawsuits, but to date she hasn’t bothered.
“One, it’s very expensive (to pursue a civil action) and, two, I’m sure I’d probably lose,” she said.
Twitter cracks down on ‘election deniers’ ….
Beanz’s attitude reflects a person who understands she’s a pawn in a much bigger battle.
While she had received no warnings of her imminent banning and no one from Twitter ever mentioned specific articles or tweets that had violated Twitter’s rules, she said she’d actually been expecting such a move for “days, maybe months.”
This is because Beanz, via her tweets and via the journalism published at her website, had been a prominent voice publicizing claims of election fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election. Before that, she’d helped produce reams of evidence casting aspersions on “Russia Gate” and “Spy Gate,” alleged scandals that were pushed incessantly by the leftist media throughout President Trump’s entire term.
She was and still is a friend and defender of Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first National Security Advisor who resigned after admitting in a plea deal that he gave false information to investigators in Robert Mueller’s Independent Counsel RussiaGate Inquiry.
Gen. Flynn, who now regrets agreeing to this plea deal, was also banned from Twitter on January 8, 2021. (The DOJ had dropped the case against General Flynn after an internal investigation found there was no merit to the charges. After the judge in the case refused to accept the DOJ’s position, Flynn was pardoned by President Trump.)
The fact she’s been labeled an “election denier” almost certainly explains her severe sanctions, Beanz said. The events at the Capitol on January 6 gave Twitter the excuse to go ahead and “ban a bunch of us in one fell swoop,” she said. Beanz added she has no doubt individuals in the government were (and probably still are) pressuring and coordinating with social media companies to ban dissident voices such as her own.
“That’s already been proven” in discovery from an on-going lawsuit (Missouri vs. Biden), a charge seemingly corroborated by recent stories published by Alex Berenson, she said.
The idea that she or her investigative journalism website is publishing harmful “misinformation or disinformation” is “crazy,” she said. “We produce real investigative journalism, not ‘fake news.’ It’s like Stasi (is coming down on us).”
Nor is Beanz willing to retract any of the articles her website published or tweets she made about the 2020 presidential election.
“What we were publishing was election truth, truths that everybody needs to know,” she said.
Even Twitter can’t silence contrarian voices ….
Beanz also wants everyone to know Twitter and PayPal haven’t defeated her. (She mentioned that she does have a “couple of strikes” against her on YouTube, but for now can still post her podcasts at that site. She said Facebook has banned her personally but not the Facebook page for UncoverDC.com)
“Crying about this wasn’t going to get me anywhere,” she said. Instead, she just buckled down and started re-building her followers on other social media platforms like Truth Social, GETTR, Parler, Clout Hub and Telegram. Today, all platforms combined, she’s once again reaching approximately one million followers.
“We took a big hit, but I think we’re now coming back as strong as ever,” she said. While she thinks Twitter and many of other social media giants are going to keep banning people who challenge faux or dubious narratives, “the truth always rises to the top,” she said. “People are going to continue to look for it and they’re going to find it.”
According to Beanz, too many companies now exist where independent or citizen journalists can reach large numbers of people.
“There’s a lot of good workarounds,” she notes. For example, “Substack has been fantastic.” She also mentioned that the Internet aggregator Citizen Free Press often links to UncoverDC.com exclusives, allowing these stories to reach tens or hundreds of thousands of readers.
Beanz said she feels worse for the untold number (millions?) of private citizens who have also been banned by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.
“What about the regular or Every Man who has no voice on social media? They want to share their thoughts as well, but they can’t. I can find other ways to get around Twitter and communicate with others, but they can’t. Forget political issues, these people can’t post updates about their children or their daily lives.”
Beanz goes further, making a point I’ve made in some of my own posts (when my accounts weren’t suspended).
“Sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube could have saved lives, perhaps a lot of lives, if they’d simply allowed people to challenge all these authorized Covid narratives,” she said. “What we have now is a public debate that’s not really a genuine debate.”
Regarding how social media platforms can disseminate information that can change lives and help people in times of hardship, Beanz can actually provide her own example of this.
According to Beanz, her house burned down in November of 2020 - about two months before her account was suspended. She made several tweets about this. One Good Samaritan Twitter follower of Beanz organized a Go-Fund-Me effort to help her family. The effort raised $200,000 to help her rebuild and re-stock her home, she said.
“If I hadn’t been on Twitter that wouldn’t have happened,” she said.
Even today Beanz says many people don’t know she was banned from Twitter and PayPal. She said she recently attended a Truth Social event in Nashville and some of the people she visited with were surprised to learn she’d been banned from Twitter for almost three years.
(When I asked Tracy how many other journalists had contacted her to tell her Twitter story, she replied, “You’re the only one.”)
“Nobody has really advocated for us,” she said.
At one point, Beanz thought she’d never re-join Twitter but has changed her mind. If Elon Musk does buy the company and does allow free speech, she says she’ll re-join.
“It’s still a platform that can be a market place for ideas. It’s where prime ministers and all the influential journalists post their thoughts on important issues. Why not put your own ideas out there?”
If or when her account is re-instated, one doesn’t get the feeling Tracy Beanz will act any differently than she did three or five years ago. And if many people continue to label her an extremist or domestic terrorist, she has a stock answer for them.
“Our goal is to terrorize all the right people,” she said with a laugh. “If you feel like I’m terrorizing you, you’ve probably done something terrible.”
Note: I emailed the media affairs director for Twitter two days ago, seeking comment for this story and have yet to receive a reply. Also, one of the charges made against UncoverDC.com is that it is a “Covid conspiracy site.” Since I’ve written many of those Covid articles, I’m in a good position to answer that piece of disinformation, which I’ll do in a follow-up article.