PewDiePie got suspended from Twitter, possibly for joking about ISIS

Before his suspension, he had 8.63 million followers on Twitter; upon his return, he had 77. 


Author's note: this story has been revised to clarify the sequence of events.

Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg received a temporary suspension from Twitter earlier today, likely due to one of many recent examples of bizarre behavior from the YouTube star.

The story began yesterday, when PewDiePie lost his verification checkmark. "Me and @Jack_Septic_Eye have joined isis. Which is why we both got unverified," he tweeted in explanation following his account's reinstatement. (Jack_Septic_Eye is a fellow YouTube gamer.)

After that, his Twitter account was temporarily suspended. The most logical explanation was his ISIS joke, and PewDiePie retweeted a post from satirical news account @SkyNeiws to that effect. A Twitter representative told The Next Web that "we don't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons."

His offhand remark took a larger, and equally transient toll. Before his suspension, he had 8.63 million followers on Twitter; upon his return, he had 77. Most of those followers have been restored, up to 7.97 million as of this writing.

When fans continued to express concern, the YouTube star tweeted that he was "totally fine" and that it was "heartwarming to see so many people care about me." PewDiePie then uploaded a video claiming he unverified himself, and encouraged his followers to do the same.

Source: The Next Web

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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  • reply
    August 31, 2016 1:11 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, PewDiePie got suspended from Twitter, possibly for joking about ISIS

    • reply
      August 31, 2016 1:22 PM

      I can't understand the sequence of events that this article lists. First he got suspended, but the joke was made after his account was un-suspended? Or did getting unverified happen before he was suspended? Because the article doesn't make that clear at all. What was the joke that caused this, because what it says is that the ISIS thing was after he came back.

      Also, I thought Twitter was all about free speech?

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        August 31, 2016 1:34 PM

        My impression of Twitter is that like many tech social networking companies lately, they want to disavow any responsibility for content while simultaneously protecting their brand, which gets awkward fast.

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        August 31, 2016 1:51 PM

        From what I gathered...
        He got himself unverified. Then he made the joke about Isis when people kept bugging him about why he was unverified. That led to the suspension. Could be wrong, but yeah.

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          August 31, 2016 1:55 PM

          So to say he was suspended, then "tweeted upon his return" would be incorrect, right?

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            August 31, 2016 1:55 PM

            I guess so. My assumptions are mostly based on his video, which is a mishmash of bullshit that makes mostly no sense at all. So who knows?

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        August 31, 2016 2:08 PM

        Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I revised the article to clarify what happened and when. Let me know if it makes sense.

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          August 31, 2016 2:38 PM

          Yeah, that's much clearer, thanks. Still weird that caused Twitter to suspend him, though, when they've been on the record of allowing much less politically correct stuff that was actually serious.

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            August 31, 2016 3:00 PM

            Yeah, unless he or Twitter provides an explanation (and Twitter won't) we probably won't find out the cause of his suspension. I hope it wasn't due to his "joke." While in poor taste, Twitter cracking down on him for that reason reeks of them making an example out of him.

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          August 31, 2016 2:46 PM

          I'm still confused. You said he was suspended, then you said he retweeted something. Did the RT happen after the temporary suspension was lifted? If so maybe "and PewDiePie retweeted" should be "and after his account was reinstated he retweeted" or similar.

          (Also, the opening sentence is not quite logical: "Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg received a temporary suspension from Twitter earlier today, one of many recent examples of bizarre behavior from the YouTube star." Receiving a suspension is not bizarre behavior (or any kind of behavior), it's presumably the result of bizarre behavior. Something like "...from Twitter earlier today, likely for one of many recent examples...")

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            August 31, 2016 2:58 PM

            I smoothed out both of those sentences. They read correctly in my head! It's been a busy week. Vacation can't come soon enough--my first in 5 years.

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        August 31, 2016 3:10 PM

        "essentially" free speech.

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        August 31, 2016 3:19 PM

        Like Reddit, Twitter here lately has been learning the hard way why the "free speech" thing on the Internet is not so easy. They've been catching shit for being a communication network for terrorists. They're being sued right now by some individuals who claim that Twitter's DM feature is equivalent to handing terrorists a satellite phone:

        This is probably what PewDiePie's joke was in reference to.

        Then there was the whole think where they banned that one guy for orchestrating a harassment campaign against Leslie Jones which included people ejaculating on her photograph.

        I think Twitter being a self-described bastion of free speech is great but there's reasons companies tend to not stick to their guns on that over time and it's not because no one's thought of the idea yet.

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      August 31, 2016 1:29 PM

      If you want a good example of Nurgle from the Warhammer Fantasy or Warhammer 40k universe, Twitter in our universe is Nurgle's Harbinger.

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      August 31, 2016 2:05 PM

      Wait, so almost a million people unsubscribed when a long time account went from verified to not verified?

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        August 31, 2016 2:39 PM

        Did he go to 7.7 million or 77? It sounds like being unverified caused all his followers to automatically unfollow or something, but it seems unlikely that 8 million would notice and refollow him overnight.

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          August 31, 2016 2:42 PM

          Oh, my brain automatically inserted a decimal in there and thought it read 7.7, not 77. That would make sense if becoming unverified automatically unfollowed. Well, the numbers would make sense, not sure if that behavior makes sense but whatever.

          Sounds like a pretty big fuckup by Twitter.

    • reply
      August 31, 2016 3:05 PM

      But the other really obscene racist or hate filled accounts on Twitter remain untouched

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