Anti-Trump brothers Ed and Brian Krassenstein were permanently banned from Twitter for operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing bots with those accounts. The Daily Beast first reported the news late Thursday.
"The Twitter Rules apply to everyone. Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited," a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service."
The brothers deny breaking any rules. On Sunday, Ed Krassenstein posted a "Challenge to Twitter" on his Facebook. He said Twitter hasn't released any details about why the brothers were banned and challenged the social media site to release the accounts in question.
"If Twitter believes we violated the rules, they should release the details and evidence that proves so rather than allowing the media to defame us and accuse us of these allegations without any evidence or proof," Krassenstein said in the post.
Twitter did not immediately respond to request for comment about the challenge.
The brothers say they had extra accounts to keep track of death threats and for their businesses, and that no account was used for manipulative purposes.
"Twitter claims that we manipulated our interactions through the purchase of fake accounts and fake interactions," the Krassenstein brothers said in an open letter. "We have never once acquired anything for the purpose of increasing our Twitter presence."
Before being banned, the brothers, together, had more than 1.6 million followers. They would use their large followings to quickly respond to tweets from President Donald Trump. When CNET staffers searched the Krassenstein brothers Twitter accounts, both appeared to be suspended.
First published at 4:26 p.m. ET on May 24.
Updated May 28 at 1:45 p.m. PT: Adds Twitter Challenge details.