- Matt Grasso's popular Baby Yoda-themed Twitter account, @BabyYodaBaby, went viral for its wholesome messages in "Yoda speak."
- The account was first suspended in December 2019 and again in January 2020 for violating platform rules.
- Grasso, who appealed the suspensions, claims Twitter has not pointed to any specific action that prompted the ban.
- On February 6, Twitter notified Grasso that the account had been permanently suspended, upsetting @BabyYodaBaby's loyal following.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
When Matt Grasso created his Baby Yoda-themed Twitter account @BabyYodaBaby in November 2019, he thought the platform would be a vehicle to celebrate a cute character that was becoming a pop culture sensation, and, perhaps, a chance to showcase his comedy writing.
Within weeks, @BabyYodaBaby had become a viral symbol of positivity and levity in an increasingly cynical corner of the Internet. Grasso accrued over 140,000 followers in one month for his tweets of wholesome adaptions of Yoda axioms — "Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Cuteness leads to snuggling," for example.
"It wasn't necessarily my intention to start, but it turned into this really positive force," the high school guidance counselor told Insider. "I think it's great that people are looking for something nice and positive online."
Grasso added that he's saved DMs from followers thanking him for creating the account. One fan, he said, told him that her family would look at @BabyYodaBaby tweets for comfort when they gathered in the hospital with her ailing grandfather.
"Helping people is an important thing to me," he said, "and its something I didn't expect to come from this account, but there are people who have a really good feeling about it."
On December 13, 2019, the @BabyYodaBaby account was suspended for violating Twitter rules — specifically "rules against platform manipulation and spam" — according to the official email that Grasso received and provided to Insider.
He suspects his account was originally reported by Twitter user @postsbyfiona who claimed responsibility, via Twitter, for Baby Yoda's suspension.
While Grasso isn't sure what online behavior that prompted his suspension, he has some guesses. He maintained several Twitter accounts (including @BadFatherHanSolo which maintained a healthy following) and occasionally retweeted @BabyYodaBaby from them. Twitter, he says, never gave a specific explanation, but in its Platform Manipulation and Spam policy, it says that "operating multiple accounts that interact with one another" can result in suspension.
With the help from an inside connection at Twitter, Grasso says, he expedited the review process and was allowed to keep one of his Twitter accounts. He chose @BabyYodaBaby which had reached around 200,000 followers at the time.
On January 12, @BabyYodaBaby was suspended a second time — again for "platform manipulation and spam," according to the email Grasso received and provided to Insider.
Grasso, who had accumulated nearly 250,000 followers by then, was confused by the charge and appealed the suspension.
On January 23, he received another email from Twitter stating that his account would remain suspended due to "multiple or severe violations of platform manipulation rules."
"I just, politely, kept appealing it," Grasso said. "I'd written them multiple emails about the fact that this is a really positive account, and I detailed the situation: that I'd been suspended once, been allowed to keep an account, and I clearly hadn't violated Twitter rules since then."
Then, On February 6, the account was permanently suspended.
"We're writing to let you know that we've permanently suspended your account due to multiple or repeat violations of our rules," the email, which Grasso provided to Insider, reads. "This account will not be restored. Please do not reply to this email or send us new appeals for this account as we won't monitor them."
"I'm frustrated," Grasso said. "I lost so many followers. And I lost so many good followers."
@BabyYodaBaby's loyal following is confused and disappointed by the ban. Many have voiced their concerns on Twitter.
"Please reinstate the account of @BabyYodaBaby," one follower wrote. "The account was consistently upbeat and positive."
"Don't Know why you guys are out to get @BabyYodaBaby like this. He's just trying to spread positivity on your platform," another wrote.
"I am truly depressed that the account has been suspended, and now, apparently, permanently banned," Twitter user @WTSFan told Insider. "When the account was active, I would get a notification each time a new tweet was posted, and it would put a smile on my face and take me out of my troubles for at least a few seconds."
For now, @BabyYodaBaby's legacy will have to continue on Instagram, where Grasso has a modest following. He's not sure, however, if he wants to continue the account the way it was on Twitter.
"Instagram's a different medium. I think if you post too much, people get overwhelmed and don't wanna listen to you," he said. "I don't know if people will buy into it in the same way."
Twitter has not returned Insider's request for comment.
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