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Free Memo! X Suspends L.A. TACO Journalist’s Account Citing Bogus Claim of Impersonation

After speaking out about the pay-to-play business practices of a P.R. firm selling paid posts for the L.A. Weekly, our journalist and director of partnerships has been the subject of online threats and attacks that have led to X, formerly Twitter, suspending his account, citing false claims that it violated the company's “impersonation” policies. FREE MEMO!

After speaking out about the pay-to-play business practices of a P.R. firm selling paid posts for the L.A. Weekly, our journalist and director of partnerships has been the subject of online threats and attacks that have led to X, formerly Twitter, suspending his account, citing false claims that it violated X’s “impersonation” policies. 

In the original post in question, published on November 22, 2022, Memo Torres called out L.A. Weekly in a tweet, saying, “Dam, LA Weekly out here cold calling trying to feature me as a top 10 food blogger for just $500. this list will be more like “top 10 food bloggers willing to pay $500 to be featured in a defunct publication.”

The post went viral with more than a million views. 

The post was all but forgotten a year later when Mogul Press sent a threatening email to Memo Torres, on October 6 of this year. The email sounded like an ultimatum and read:

"Just because of a marketing message, you have made a post against a renowned P.R. firm.

So, kindly take down this post right away.

Otherwise, we’d be forced to get your account banned / taken down using the mass reporting tools / software we have access to.

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into building your account up, and it would not be good for you to have to start again from 0 followers.

We would rather not post negative articles about you online to counter this.

So, let’s not go down that route.

Please take the post down ASAP and update me when done.

If we do not hear back about this in the next 24 hours, we’ll assume you do not wish to take the post down. In that case, we’ll just proceed with our process to get your account removed.

It would be better if we resolve this peacefully, so please take the post down."

Memo Torres, baffled by the email, shared the threat with his followers on X, where the full Streisand effect kicked in, generating a viral response with over 1.6 million views. This time, it caught the attention of Mogul Press’s client in question, L.A. Weekly, who tried to deny any association with the company in a tweet.

“It has come to our attention that a company called Mogul Press is claiming to be L.A. Weekly’s P.R. firm. They are not. Their posts have nothing to do with us. Their threatening posts, which we condemn, are being dealt with. This is an outside firm trying to trade on our name.”

Memo Torres was quick to respond to the tweet with a link to an L.A. Weekly article that strongly promoted Mogul Press as a PR company. L.A. Weekly responded by quietly taking that article down. 

Online supporters of Torres were also quick to point out a dozen of Mogul Press-paid “Best of” articles that L.A. Weekly has hosted on their site. 

Mogul Press is a media relations company that charges people for placement in “Best Of” articles for clients like Forbes and L.A. Weekly. It is run by Nabeel Ahmad, who proudly claims he built a million-dollar company at 22. 

The matter seemed to be forgotten and over when, exactly one month later, on November 10, Memo Torres received another solicitation from Mogul Press for their services. Moments after posting that new solicitation online, again calling out Mogul Press for its threats, Memo Torres’ X account was suspended. 

Torres has followed X’s appeal process, submitting his I.D. and a description of these events. He has yet to hear back from X. 

We at L.A. TACO condemn these attacks on our journalists, who rightly called out the unethical practices of Mogul Press and the articles L.A. Weekly posts for them.

If some young, rich punk can get an acclaimed L.A. journalist banned for making fun of them, then what hope does the future have for journalism on any platform, let alone X?

We call on X to do the right thing and not only reinstate Memo Torres’ account, which is a valuable service to the Los Angeles community, but to also pursue both the bots and Mogul Press for harassing and attacking a local journalist. 

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