If you’ve been on Twitter in the last 24 hours, you may have noticed that things are a bit less resistance-y over there. That’s due in large part to Twitter’s recent decision to permanently ban brothers Ed and Brian Krassenstein, who, since the election of Donald Trump, have built a cottage industry out of relentless, self-serving anti-Trump sentiment. According to a statement by Twitter, the brothers were given a lifetime ban for “operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions,” two things that undoubtedly helped them become as popular as they were on the social media platform.
Over the past few years, the Florida-based brothers have garnered over a million combined followers with their banal, faux-outrage-filled responses to Trump tweets that directly appeal to the extremely online people of the #Resistance subculture. Last fall, they attempted to leverage this popularity into sales of their weird anti-Trump children’s book, and instead proceeded to get dunked on for drawing Robert Mueller as a muscular, shirtless hunk. While purchasing bot farms and grifting followers may sound like the GOP’s game, the Krassensteins have shown again and again that being a shady, attention-starved weirdo requires no specific political alignment.
This latest development shouldn’t really come as a surprise since, as reported by The Daily Beast, the Krassensteins have a history of scam-adjacent career choices. In 2016, their homes were raided by the FBI because they were running a number of websites that promoted investment scams and blatant Ponzi schemes. The brothers weren’t formally charged and, within a year, had pivoted their focus to capitalizing on anti-Trump fever.
Of course, in their official statement regarding the Twitter ban, the brothers profess their innocence, saying they only ever operated secondary accounts for the purpose of “viewing accounts that threatened us and our family in various ways before blocking our main accounts.” They go on to say that they have asked Twitter to reevaluate the suspension and are confident they will see it’s a mistake. Until then, we can all appreciate the infinitesimal decrease in social media noise this ban has afforded us.
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