Republican Representative Jim Banks regained control of his official Twitter account after deleting a post the social media company marked as a violation of its rules.
The 42-year-old Indiana congressman had responded to the U.S. surgeon general congratulating Dr. Rachel Levine on her promotion in the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps by writing: “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.” Levine is the first openly transgender four-star officer in the U.S. uniformed services. She is also the nation’s assistant secretary of health.
The post was removed and Twitter suspended his account on October 23. The company has a rule to ban “targeted misgendering” of transgender people, the Associated Press reported.
Banks deleted the post and his account was reinstated.
The congressman, who entered the House of Representatives in 2017, posted a video on Friday to announce his return to Twitter and denounce the “censorship” from the platform. Two hours later, Banks tweeted about co-sponsoring a bill to “crack down on Big Tech” which he said is “drunk on power.”
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below
Prior, Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy said Banks went through steps to acknowledge the tweet violated the rules and was then able to post a video under the heading “I’m back.”
“That was the indication then that he had deleted the violative tweet and then regained access to the account,” Kennedy said.
Banks, whose district covers Fort Wayne and surrounding northeastern Indiana, has frequently drawn attention with right-wing social media comments. He said he stood by his post about Levine.
“Twitter provides a crucial platform for elected officials to communicate with voters, which is part of what makes Twitter’s biased and arbitrary censorship so dangerous,” Banks said. “Fighting the left’s censorship will remain a priority of mine for as long as I’m in Congress.”
Kennedy declined to comment on Banks’ criticism of Twitter.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy picked Banks in July as the top GOP member for the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the appointment of Banks, citing a need to protect the “integrity” of the investigation that has since been boycotted by House Republican leadership.