Elon Musk’s X Briefly Bans Alexey Navalny Widow’s Account From Platform

Yulia Navalnaya’s account on Elon Musk’s X social-media service was briefly suspended, a day after it was used to help her challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin over the death of her husband. The widow of opposition leader Alexey Navalny accused Putin of killing him in a video posted on her X account on Monday. That came as she announced she was taking over Navalny’s role as opposition leader after his death in a remote Russian prison colony on Friday.

Her profile page showed an “account suspended” message on Tuesday and an explanation that the service suspends accounts that violate the platform’s rules. Shortly after, the account appeared online again.

X said in a post on the site that Navalnaya’s account was mistakenly flagged by a “defense mechanism against manipulation and spam.” The company said it plans to update the program and had unsuspended the account when it became aware of the error. 

The account was both flagged and suspended by X’s automated systems, and then reinstated following a human review, a company spokesperson later confirmed. The account triggered several of X’s signals for spam: It was a new account created this month, had a significant increase in followers in a short amount of time and originated from a high-risk country, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, appealed to Putin to order the release of her son’s body, which authorities have kept hidden since his death at the Arctic IK-3 prison colony on Friday.

“I have not been able to see him for five days. They have not given his body to me and haven’t even told me where he is,” she said in an online video posted Tuesday and recorded in front of the prison colony. “I appeal to you, Vladimir Putin, because the solution to this problem depends only on you. Let me finally see my son. I demand that Alexey’s body be released immediately so that I can bury him in a humane way.”

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