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Ex-Sheriff Alex Villanueva suspended from social media site X

Keri Blakinger, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is running for a spot on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said Monday that his primary account on X, formerly Twitter, was shut down after someone allegedly reported him for harassing his opponent in the race.

"This morning I found out that my X or Twitter account was temporarily suspended," Villanueva said in a video posted to Instagram. "This is straight dirty politics 101."

Spokespeople for his opponent, incumbent Janice Hahn, said the supervisor and her campaign had nothing to do with Villanueva's account suspension.

"This is laughable," said Dave Jacobson, a consultant with Hahn's reelection campaign. "It's simply more evidence of a lying, disgraced and failed former sheriff yet again attempting to mislead the public with baseless claims."

On X, @AlexVilanueva33 bore an "Account suspended" message Tuesday.

"X suspends accounts which violate the X Rules," the message said. It did not specify which rule the account violated or whether it was related to harassment of Hahn's account, which is one of several that Villanueva regularly tags in combative posts.

 

The site did not answer questions from The Times about the reasons behind the account suspension. A message sent to an email address for media inquiries was met with what appeared to be an automated response: "Busy now, please check back later."

When reached for comment, Villanueva said he did not have proof that the suspension was in response to his interactions with his opponent.

"The notification did not offer a reason, but based on the content it seems most likely where the complaint came from," he wrote in an email to The Times. "Criticism of the performance of elected officials should always be protected speech."

Villanueva encouraged people to follow him on Instagram, Facebook and his new X account, @SheriffV33.

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